The Art of the Personal Essay: An Anthology from the Classical Era to the Present Short Essay - Answer Key

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1. What is Seneca's philosophical background? Why is that background problematic?

Seneca is a philosopher of the Stoics, although many of his actions in life are not those of a true Stoic. A Stoic is supposed to be a wise man who plays the cards that are dealt to him and never complains of his station and always has dignity. Much of Seneca's life is very human as he gains wealth, complains about misfortune and curries favor.

2. What is "On Noise" about? What does Seneca advise?

Seneca's essay "On Noise" delves into a person's need for peace and quiet. Seneca says that there is no peace and quiet for a person outside the world if there is not peace within themselves. He lists off all the things that he hears on a daily basis and how he is able to ignore these things because he has peace within himself.

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