Taming Of The Private Tyrant Analysis

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The Taming of the Private Tyrant: An Analysis of the Hydra, the Lion, and the Human as the Image of the Soul in The Republic by Plato

This philosophical study will define the taming of the tyrant in The Republic by Plato. Socrates presents the image of the soul through the three symbolic identities of (1) the hydra, (2) the lion, and (3) the human to identify just and unjust behaviors. The hydra represents the lust of human ambition with its many heads; the lion represents the grandiosity of honor, and the human represents the ability to reason and live a just life. These different symbolic attributes of the soul are to be tamed in order to prevent the unjust behaviors of the tyrant, which must control the hydra and the lion. More so, Socrates
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The three-fold image of the soul defines the insatiable desires of the hydra and the prideful/vain nature of the lion as a danger to living a pleasant life as a just ruler. The core argument of The Republic is related to the wisest ways in which a ruler can subdue the temptations of the Hydra and the lion, which is presented through the example of the Ring of Gyges and the problem of the private tyrant. The ring of invisibility provides an example of why Glaucon’s argument of the quid pro quo nature of legal agreement cannot suffice as a means for sustaining a just society in the power of the private tyrant. Socrates countermands this superficially limied view of the legal bonds between people by suggesting that the just man can follow the Forms and wisdom (as a philosopher king) in order to attain a greater personal motivation to live a just life. Invisible or not, Socrates finds that human reasoning can subdue the monstrous aspects of the soul, which provides a solution to the major challenges of preventing the private tyrant from abusing or hurting other people in civil society. Therefore, Socrates commitment to the absolute morality and truth of the Forms overrides Glaucon’s cynical view of justice, which illustrates the ability of the just man to live a pleasant life by subduing the hydra and the lion through human reason and

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