As Cicero details in his De Officiis (On Duties), Stoic ethical theory proceeds from a poetics of virtue according to which people act dutifully by performing the roles (personae) in which nature has cast them. Stoicism's dramatistic conception of duty fits within the theatrical dynamics of ancient rhetorical practice, theory, and pedagogy and is a noteworthy precursor to persona theory in contemporary rhetorical studies. Furthermore, the centrality of decorum to Stoic personae theory gives it a poignant rhetorical quality, especially given the circumstances during which Cicero introduced it to Roman readers.

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