Analysis Of Plato's Republic As A Dystopian Society

780 Words 4 Pages
Throughout his dialogue, Republic, Plato espouses an ideal society which consists of a population of morally upright, courageous, and generally outstanding individuals. This society actively works to shape individuals into such paragons by shielding them from any unsavory influences. Media which is believed to endorse unwanted behavior is banned or strictly regulated, and the only works which people are allowed to view are those which improve their character in ways which the republic endorses. Plato 's Republic is widely considered to be one of the first examples of a Utopia; however such a portrayal falls more in line with the modern conception of a dystopian society, such as those shown in novels such as Adolus Huxley 's Brave New World …show more content…
The purpose of his ideal government is to shape ideal citizens and by extension, an ideal state. This is achieved first by restricting the content which is to be shown to children- preventing them from accessing media which displays societal taboos such as incest or patricide; and then by restricting media which has content that can be construed as unsavory. His society recognizes the power which media has in shaping people, and censors it accordingly, banning overt displays of negative emotions as well as media which portrays the gods as flawed. Rather than reflecting life as it is, Plato posits that media should reflect what life ought to be, and what people should aspire to. Some ideals inherent in such a worldview are Utopian in nature- most would agree that society should attempt to form the best citizens possible; however at the same time such a philosophy contradicts the ideals which serve as the foundation of modern western society. Brave New World explicitly condemns such forms of censorship, stating that to be free is to feel pain and sadness as well as pleasure and a society which restricts one 's ability to experience the spectrum of life is an inhumane one. In 1984 and Farenheit 451 the function of literature as an aesthetic experience are stressed as well, and the reduction of such art to completely meaningless or utilitarian forms are viewed as atrocities. As a society which not only engages in such activities, but fully condones them Plato 's utopia fits the definition of a classic dystopia. It is not a paradise, but rather a

Related Documents