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date: 29 July 2017

Abstract and Keywords

In spite of Montaigne’s dismissal of his schooling as a “failure,” significant features of his thought can be traced to his humanist education. Not only did he acquire literacy in French at school, but also he picked up a comic outlook from the plays of Terence in which he acted. Further, George Buchanan exposed the young Montaigne to Reformation ideas. Later, Marc-Antoine Muret’s Julius Caesar would school Montaigne in displaying confidence in the face of fortune’s vicissitudes, an attitude that he would incorporate into the “heroic” skepticism of the Essays. More generally, he adopted images, language, and postures from the stage as a way of understanding the life as a comédie humaine. Montaigne, however, preferred to award a determining influence for his adult character to the infancy he spent in a rural village.

Keywords: Montaigne, education, Collège de Guyenne, humanism, literacy, Terence, Buchanan, Muret, Gouvéa, Grouchy

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