Silencing the scream : representations of pain through visual media in Ancient Roman culture
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This thesis explores the Stoic concepts of pain, which calls attention to the idea that pain should be silenced and unexpressed. I put forth an argument that pain is most effectively comprehended through visual aids such as art, literature and spectacle. Pain is an objectless concept that is difficult to express verbally. The best way for a human mind to perceive pain is visual or literary. I will also discuss the significance of endured pain via Seneca’s Ideal Man as well as the significance of the concept of virtus in Stoic pain. Through these two topics, I will explore how this notion of pain shaped the Roman concept of correctly managing it. Finally, I will discuss how these topics are both similar and different to modern conceptions of pain, and how analyzing ancient pain might aid us in improving our approach to pain in today’s world.