Essay Glaucon in the Republic

1056 Words Nov 27th, 2002 5 Pages
In Plato's Republic, Glaucon is introduced to the reader as a man who loves honor, sex, and luxury. As The Republic progresses through books and Socrates' arguments of how and why these flaws make the soul unhappy began to piece together, Glaucon relates some of these cases to his own life, and begins to see how Socrates' line of reasoning makes more sense than his own. Once Glaucon comes to this realization, he embarks on a path of change on his outlook of what happiness is, and this change is evidenced by the way he responds during he and Socrates' discourse.
The first change in character begins with Glaucon's position on whether or not the unjust soul is happier than the just soul. This is seen in Book 4, 445b, when he argues
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Although the two are not specifically talking about anyone in particular, Glaucon's response shows that he believes that gratification and desire are deceiving, they only "cast a spell" to trick you into believing that you are happy. This is a considerable breakthrough on his part, being that in previous discussions, it was publicized that Glaucon felt that happiness in the soul was the cause of what one possessed or how one's desires were fulfilled.
In Book 7, during Socrates' explanation of the Allegory of the Cave, Glaucon's changed perception is further revealed. When Socrates' begins talking about the allegory at 515c, Glaucon describes Socrates' image as being "strange", where Socrates' interjects to tell him that the people he is describing are "like us". This seems to spark Glaucon's interest even more. Glaucon shows his feelings at another point in Socrates' story, when he speaks of how the cave dweller who had left the cave would rather suffer in the sun than be back in the cave, sharing the opinions of the other dwellers and living as they do. Glaucon's comment is that he thinks the man would "rather suffer than live like that." This remark shows that he, although he does not say it outright, would prefer to live embracing knowledge and awareness then to live with what is familiar and comfortable. This is confirmed further, during 519d, when Socrates suggests that those who have made the ascent go back down to enlighten the other prisoners in the cave,

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