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2. Let us then define anger as a longing, accompanied by pain, for a real or apparent revenge for a real or apparent slight,1 affecting a man himself or one of his friends, when such a slight is undeserved. [2] If this definition is correct, the angry man must always be angry with a particular individual (for instance, with Cleon, but not with men generally),
and because this individual has done, or was on the point of doing, something against him or one of his friends; and lastly, anger is always accompanied by a certain pleasure, due to the hope of revenge to come. For it is pleasant to think that one will obtain what one aims at; now, no one aims at what is obviously impossible of attainment by him, and the angry man aims at what is possible for himself. Wherefore it has been well said of anger, that “ Far sweeter than dripping honey down the throat it spreads in men's hearts.2

” for it is accompanied by a certain pleasure, for this reason first,3 and also because men dwell upon the thought of revenge, and the vision that rises before us produces the same pleasure as one seen in dreams.

[3] Slighting is an actualization of opinion in regard to something which appears valueless; for things which are really bad or good, or tend to become so, we consider worthy of attention, but those which are of no importance or trifling4 we ignore. Now there are three kinds of slight: disdain, spitefulness, and insult. [4] For he who disdains, slights, since men disdain those things which they consider valueless and slight what is of no account. And the spiteful man appears to show disdain; for spitefulness consists in placing obstacles in the way of another's wishes, not in order that any advantage may accrue to him who spites, but to prevent any accruing to the other. Since then he does not act in this manner from self-interest, it is a slight;
for it is evident that he has no idea that the other is likely to hurt him, for in that case he would be afraid of him instead of slighting him; nor that he will be of any use to him worth speaking of, for in that case his thought would be how to become his friend.5

[5] Similarly, he who insults another also slights him; for insult6 consists in causing injury or annoyance whereby the sufferer is disgraced, not to obtain any other advantage for oneself besides the performance of the act, but for one's own pleasure; for retaliation is not insult, but punishment. [6] The cause of the pleasure felt by those who insult is the idea that, in ill-treating others, they are more fully showing superiority. That is why the young and the wealthy are given to insults; for they think that, in committing them, they are showing their superiority. Dishonor is characteristic of insult; and one who dishonors another slights him; for that which is worthless has no value, either as good or evil. Hence Achilles in his wrath exclaims: “ He has dishonored me, since he keeps the prize he has taken for himself,7

” and “ [has treated me] like a dishonored vagrant,8

” [7] as if being angry for these reasons. Now men think that they have a right to be highly esteemed by those who are inferior to them in birth, power, and virtue,
and generally, in whatever similar respect9 a man is far superior to another; for example, the rich man to the poor man in the matter of money, the eloquent to the incompetent speaker in the matter of oratory, the governor to the governed, and the man who thinks himself worthy to rule to one who is only fit to be ruled. Wherefore it has been said: “ Great is the wrath of kings cherished by Zeus,10

” and “ Yet it may be that even afterwards he cherishes his resentment,11

” for kings are resentful in consideration of their superior rank. [8] Further, men are angry at slights from those by whom they think they have a right to expect to be well treated; such are those on whom they have conferred or are conferring benefits, either themselves, or some one else for them, or one of their friends; and all those whom they desire, or did desire, to benefit.

[9] It is now evident from these considerations what is the disposition of those who are angry, with whom they are angry, and for what reasons. Men are angry when they are pained, because one who is pained aims at something; if then anyone directly opposes him in anything, as, for instance, prevents him from drinking when thirsty, or not directly, but seems to be doing just the same; and if anyone goes against him or refuses to assist him, or troubles him in any other way when he is in this frame of mind, he is angry with all such persons. [10] Wherefore the sick, the necessitous, [those at war], the lovesick, the thirsty, in a word, all who desire something and cannot obtain it, are prone to anger and easily excited, especially against those who make light of their present condition; for instance, the sick man is easily provoked in regard to his illness,12 the necessitous in regard to his poverty, the warrior in regard
to warlike affairs, the lover in regard to love affairs, and so with all the rest; for the passion13 present in his mind in each case paves the way for his anger. [11] Again, men are angry when the event is contrary to their expectation, for the more unexpected a thing is, the more it pains; just as they are overjoyed if, contrary to expectation, what they desire comes to pass. From this it is obvious what are the seasons, times, states of mind, and conditions of age in which we are easily moved14 to anger; and what are the various times, places, and reasons, which make us more prone to anger in proportion as we are subject to their influence.

[12] Such then are the dispositions of those who are easily roused to anger. As to the objects of their anger, men are angry with those who ridicule, mock, and scoff at them, for this is an insult. And with those who injure them in ways that are indications of insult. But these acts must be of such a kind that they are neither retaliatory nor advantageous to those who commit them; for if they are, they then appear due to gratuitous insult. [13] And men are angry with those who speak ill of or despise things which they themselves consider of the greatest importance; for instance, if a man speaks contemptuously of philosophy or of personal beauty in the presence of those who pride themselves upon them; and so in all other cases. [14] But they are far more angry if they suspect that they do not possess these qualities, either not at all, or not to any great extent, or when others do not think they possess them.
For when they feel strongly that they do possess those qualities which are the subject of mockery, they pay no heed to it. [15] And they are more angry with those who are their friends than with those who are not, for they think that they have a right to be treated well by them rather than ill. [16] And they are angry with those who have been in the habit of honoring and treating them with respect, if they no longer behave so towards them; for they think that they are being treated with contempt by them, otherwise they would treat them as before. [17] And with those who do not return their kindnesses nor requite them in full; and with those who oppose them, if they are inferiors; for all such appear to treat them with contempt, the latter as if they regarded them as inferiors, the former as if they had received kindnesses from inferiors.

[18] And they are more angry with those who are of no account, if they slight them; for anger at a slight was assumed to be felt at those who ought not to behave In such a manner; for inferiors ought not to slight their superiors. [19] And they are angry with friends, if they neither speak well of nor treat them well, and in an even greater degree, if they do the opposite. And if they fail to perceive that they want something from them, as Plexippus15 in Antiphon's tragedy reproached Meleager; for failure to perceive this is a sign of slight; since, when we care for people, these things are noticed.16 [20] And they are angry with those who rejoice, or in a general way are cheerful when they are unfortunate; for this is an indication of enmity or slight. And with those who do not care if they pain them;
whence they are angry with those who bring bad news. [21] And with those who listen to the tale of their faults, or look on them with indifference, for they resemble slighters or enemies; [22] for friends sympathize and all men are pained to see their own faults exposed.17 And further, with those who slight them before five classes of persons: namely, their rivals, those whom they admire, those by whom they would like to be admired, those whom they respect, or those who respect them; when anyone slights them before these, their anger is greater. [23] They are also angry with those who slight such persons as it would be disgraceful for them not to defend, for instance, parents, children, wives, and dependents.18 And with those who are ungrateful,19 for the slight is contrary to all sense of obligation. [24] And with those who employ irony, when they themselves are in earnest; [25] for irony shows contempt. And with those who do good to others, but not to them; for not to think them worthy of what they bestow upon all others also shows contempt. [26] Forgetfulness also is a cause of anger, such as forgetting names, although it is a mere trifle, since even forgetfulness seems a sign of slight; for it is caused by indifference, and indifference is a slight.
[27] We have thus stated at one and the same time the frame of mind and the reasons which make men angry, and the objects of their anger. It is evident then that it will be necessary for the speaker, by his eloquence, to put the hearers into the frame of mind of those who are inclined to anger, and to show that his opponents are responsible for things which rouse men to anger and are people of the kind with whom men are angry.

1 Gomperz translates φαινομένης “real or apparent”; Jebb omits φαινομένης and translates φαινομένην “apparent”; Cope confines both to the meaning “manifest.”

2 Hom. Il. 18.109 (cp. 1.11.9).

3 The thought of revenge in the future, as distinguished from dwelling upon it in the present.

4 Or, “those in which this tendency does not exist, or is trifling.”

5 Or, “how to make him his friend,” φίλος being for φίλον by attraction.

6 In Attic law ὕβρις (insulting, degrading treatment) was a more serious offence than αἰκία (bodily ill-treatment). It was the subject of a State criminal prosecution ( γραφή), αἰκία of a private action ( δίκη) for damages. The penalty was assessed in court, and might even be death. It had to be proved that the defendant struck the first blow (2.24.9). One of the best known instances is the action brought by Demosthenes against Midias for a personal outrage on himself, when choregus of his tribe and responsible for the equipment of a chorus for musical competitions at public festivals.

7 Hom. Il. 1.356.

8 Hom. Il. 9.648. μετανάστης, lit. “one who changes his home,” used as a term of reproach.

9 ταὐτῷ. Other readings are ταῦτα, or τις.

10 Hom. Il. 2.196.

11 Hom. Il. 1.82. The words are those of the soothsayer Calchas to Achilles, and the reference is to Agamemnon.

12 τοῖς πρὸς τὴν νόσον: lit. “the sick man [is angry with those who slight him] in regard to his illness,” that is, by making light of it.

13 Or, “his suffering at the moment.”

14 εὐκίνητοι refers grammatically to διαθέσεις and ἡλικίαι.

15 Plexippus was the uncle of Meleager. The allusion is obscure. It may refer to Meleager giving the skin of the Calydonian boar to Atalanta, which his uncle wanted. One of Antiphon's tragedies was named MeleagerT.G.F. p.792).

16 Literally, “for the things which (= the persons whom) one respects, do not escape notice.”

17 The real friend, therefore, would feel as much pain as the other whose faults are exposed.

18 Cope translates “rulers and governors”; but can ἄρχεσθαι be used in a middle sense?

19 To avoid the apparent tautology ( 2.17), Roemer (Rhein. Mus. 39 p. 503) boldly conjectures χαίρειν: “not to return another's greeting.”

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