Welcome to the third and final part of Theophrastus’ Moral Characters. If you are new to all this, both Theophrastus , as well as this blog, be sure to check out Part 1 and Part 2 of this series. It doesn’t need to be in any alphabetical or chronological order. Just jump from one article to the next, whenever you feel like it.
Now, onto the final 10 Moral characters the wise, but also sly Theophrastus indentified:
21 The Character with Petty Ambitions
By a character with petty ambitions, Theophrastus means that person, who will do anything to distinguish themselves. They just want to be the center of attention, and think they can achieve it by doing all kinds of small, insignificant deeds in everyday situations. He sees competition in everyone and everything. For example, such a person will try and outdo any young person who plays their sport for fun. Or they will sit next to experts in a field, listen to them, and start to debate them, even when he or she has zero foundation for knowledge or opinion in their field.
22 The Mean Character
The mean character in the eyes of Theophrastus insults, but not directly, but indirectly, and especially when social honors are involved. So for example, there are certain events where everyone needs to chip in at your children’s school. But guess whose kids are all off the sudden ill and can’t help bring food for the needy, or help collect money for some sort of social, welfare cause? Yep, you guessed it the Mean Character’s children.
23 The Boastful Character
This type of character pretends to be able to better than most people in most situations, but in reality is just severely delusional about their own worth. In most cases they only talk about money, their own money. That money is of course, not invested locally, but somewhere far away, and of course, it brings in so much more than it was initially invested. If you ask them If they can suggest something similar for yourself, they will just reply that your chance has already went out the window. But, since they have the financial knowhow, they will reach out to you in the future, in case a new opportunity materializes.
24 The Arrogant Character
To be arrogant in the eyes of our teacher Theophrastus is to despise and belittle everyone in the world beside yourself. For example such a person is someone who always has all these important obligations. Naturally they are always way too important for them to share them to you. Or, you will be in the company of old friends, and talk about your vacation. That arrogant person will probably chime in with how they wished that they could take the vacation, but were too busy. And, to cap it all off they would probably add that they would have went to hotel X or resort Y, just because it is the more expensive option.
25 The Coward
Theophrastus’ definition of a coward pretty much matches how we define the word in our time. In short, it is someone whose whole being collapses anytime fear creeps inside their mind. But in his case, they really go to the extreme. Every single stranger that they meet along the way is a potential robber or rapist. If they are at sea, a single far off thunderbolt is the sign of a storm of biblical proportions that will sink the ship and drown all aboard.
26 The Oligarch
This type of person is someone who adores those in power. They are fans of those “Big Men” of history, believing that true changes can only come forth from so called “Messianic Figures”. Every time there is public debate about a issue, they will belittle those involved, proclaiming that we should those in power, who are in their loudmouth opinion the best we got, should decide about said issue. They people should just obey.
27 The Late-Learner
Late learner is not someone who is a life- long learner, as the name might suggest, but a vain person, trying to recapture their youth by trying to experience things they should have experienced decades ago. They will brag about learning something new, even if it most often comes from the books if their children. They will probably try to learn to play a new instrument late in life and start a band.
28 The Evil-Speaker
This character does not necessarily speak or wish evil towards others, but instead they have the habit of turning everything into something worse that it really is. As Slavic people would say “Turning a mouse into an Elephant”. They also remember all the bad things that others did. So if you asked them about a person, they will start listing not just all of their “sins” but will start with their great-grandfather and count from there towards that person, blemishing the whole history of their heritage.
29 The Patron of Rascals
This character is truly evil. Not only do they love to see vice or evil spread around and destroy everything good, they are the one behind it, using their money, power, privilege to create as much damage as possible. When Alfred in the Dark Knight said “Some men just like to see the world burn” he thought of a person like Theophrastus’ Patron of Rascals.
30 The Avaricious Character
Avarice is excessive desire of base gain. The Avaricious man is one who, when he entertains, will not set enough bread upon the table. He will borrow from a guest staying in his house. When he makes a distribution, he will say that the distributor is entitled to a double share, and thereupon will help himself.