The Role Of Socrates In Plato's Republic

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For a society whether it is a nation state or a city to ideally function a select group of ideals should be followed by its respective polis.
Spartan King Archidamus relays his selection of those ideals in the book entitled “Thucydides on Justice”. Socrates in Plato`s Republic introduces the necessary qualities needed to become an ideal Guardian of a city. The aim of this essay is to present in chronological order the list of ideals presented by each of these individuals and subsequently compare and contrast these viewpoints.

The Unified Nation of Greece that is present today is a relatively new creation. For much of it’s past it compromised of alliances and warring cities. One of these wars was the Peloponnesian war. “The immediate causes
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When the word self control is normally presented the idea of mellow rationality springs to mind. Archidamus instead explains that courage consists of the ability to control the actions of ones self even when complimented. He says “When people try to excite us with praise we do not let the pleasure of it overcome our better judgment.” Pg27

Archidamus believes that a sense of shame is what drives them to be courageous. He says “We are good soldiers because our self control is the chief sense of shame and shame of courage.” In this quote he presents three different qualities and uses each to build on the other. He explains that them displaying self-control in the face of war causes their allies to view them negatively. This causes them to feel ashamed. But it is this shame that they feel which fuels their courage.

“ While we have good judgment because our education leaves us to ignorant to look down on our laws.’”Pg 28
This quote signifies the importance which education plays in creating a courageous but disciplined soldier. He argues that if they were not educated they would have no respect for their laws. These are the laws, which were able to make Sparta the fighting force that it was. Engrained in these laws is the road map to make good judgment
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One fundamental difference is that Archidamus is a warrior whilst Socrates a philosopher. Socrates in his education of the guardians is in theory creating what he deems to be worthy protectors. Archidamus is in practice using tradition and education to create what is deemed good. Archidamus is able to see the results of Spartan ideals in play whilst Socrates did not see his ideals manifested.

Unlike the Guardians in the republic, the Spartan children are not tricked or lied to in an attempt to make them rational protectors. The guardians in contrast are subtly forced to become good individuals and great fighters. In a sense the Spartans would themselves be the ideal fighting force compared to the guardians. In the face of temptations and worldly nature they are able to align themselves with their traditions and laws. In contrast to the guardians who are good because good is all they knew.

Whilst the Spartan king focuses on the ideals that in the past made his city stronger, Socrates focuses on ideals that will hopefully lead to the successful development of good guardians. Archidamus has evidence, which prove that his ideals do in fact work. They are tried and proven whilst Socrates can only

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