Comparing Plato's Republic And Elaine Scarry On Beauty

1845 Words 8 Pages
Beauty and politics appear to be one in the same. Though they can be separated they work better as a whole and are more readily available. That being said, there is normally a sort of balance between the two in regards to a particular object. Which begs the question, what would happen if one overpowers the other? Both Plato’s Republic and Elaine Scarry On Beauty and Being Just talk of the issue of art being too beautiful and, in a way, what happens when a piece of art is overly politized. Despite the initial issues with something being either too political or too beautiful, it ultimately appears that without their counterpart they are able to accomplish their goal. However, one has advantage over the other in this regard and is able to exhibit the problems that come from completely separating the two.
To Plato, a perfect society is one that is devoid of art. He first critiques the usage of storytellers and false stories saying that “we carelessly allow the children to hear any old stories… that are for the most part opposite to the ones we think they should hold when they are grown up,” and
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The Sex Pistols do this with their music. It is not pretty, the vocals are not pleasing to the ears and the instruments are not expertly played, but the message is able to ring loud and clear. Scarry acknowledges that beauty is blinding but finds strength in that beauty to expose the message hidden there. Plato is more skeptical of this and the Sex Pistol’s appear to prove his point. God Save the Queen is not devoid of beauty, though it is highly subjective to think of it as beautiful, and thus the message about Britain’s “fascist regime” is clearly witnessed (). In this regards, politics devoid of pbeauty manages to reach a large crowd without relying on false

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