Socrates Critique Of Poetry In Plato's The Republic

Decent Essays
For my final paper, I will be answering the questions posed by Socrates’ critique of poetry and most interestingly, Socrates’ statement that poetry would have to make a better argument for itself if it is to be allowed into the just city. I will be agreeing with the claim Socrates makes regarding poetry’s inclusion into the city and I will attempt to draw the conclusion that Socrates would support that poets are like painters. Painters and poets appeal to a part of our souls that is not rational, and give representations of hero’s and gods; we are attracted to them because they are magnificently written. However, the poets present a danger. Their products seduce and attract us in a bad way, and only deal in mimesis. There are two kinds of poetry allowed; the praise to the gods and songs to the hero’s. Poets make their defense be stating that the people aren’t poets themselves but are lovers of poetry. I agree with Socrates’ argument that that poetry is beneficial to the state and can be utilized to instruct us on matters of the state. I will begin by analyzing Socrates’ critique of poetry by introducing …show more content…
If the guardians are supposed to be courageous, “Mustn’t they also be told things that will make them fear death least?” (386a). In Socrates’ discussion with Glaucon, heroes must never be presented to fear death, Hades must be praised and not painted in a grim light, “because what they say is neither true nor beneficial for men who are to be fighters” (386c). This discussion of poetry was surprising to me, partly because I consider myself to be a poet and partly because my initial understanding of the construction of the perfectly just city would not include any mention of poetry at all. Socrates

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