look on my face
by Erasmus

Folly's assertion that 'the look on her face' makes things clear alludes to Cicero's letters (To Atticus, 14, 13)

Her assertion that she looks what she is has a special importance since Erasmus (followed here, as so often, by Rabelais) made much of the Silenus figure, whose point was that he appeared foolish and ugly while being wise and admirable. In the Sileni Alcibiadis of 1515 Erasmus names Christ together with Socrates and Epictetus among the Silenus figures. The Enchiridion contains a reference to the scriptures that 'like the Silenus of Alcibiades, conceal their real divinity beneath a surface that is crude and almost laughable'. Folly has just called herself the true bestower of all good things, perhaps implying some similarity with the Christ of the Enchiridion, of whom the same was said and whose wisdom the world thought folly. Folly's truth to her own appearance therefore becomes ambivalent. She is what the world considers foolish, which might mean that she has wise things to say.

Note to My Birth And Education which is Part 1 of Folly Speaks from "The Praise Of Folly"

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