Plato exiled all the poets from the city because he claimed that the art that was being taught by the poets was misleading the people. He said that poetry and its art was harming the citizens because “the tragic poet is an imitator, and therefore, like all other imitators, he is thrice removed from the king and from the truth.” (Plato, Republic, Book X). In other words, poetry is three times removed from the truth, which in turns only leads us, the audience, to be even further away from the truth than we thought we were; poetry is not what it appears to be. The words and phrase that comes from poetry is the least comprehensive and most watered down version of the truth. This is because the poets themselves are not the ones creating the poems. According to Plato, the poet is only the inspired interpreter of the god, which means that the poet is only delivering what the god told them. They are the messengers of the gods. The poet has no input whatsoever into the poem and because a god is the one relaying the message to the poet, each poet is restricted to a single theme. An example would be Homer. Homer is believed to be one of the first an...
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...pture can deliver to the people; the meaning is restricted. On the polar opposite, there are no restrictions on what can be written in poetry and that is the problem that Plato is asserting. Due to poetry’s freedom of putting whatever it wants, the people will be confused and nonchalant of what they are saying because they might think that what they heard is just a joke and they go on and tell it to other people, but it can actually have severe consequences (Leckey lecture).
In the Republic, according to Plato, poetry plays a hindering role to the people and causes them to stray away from the truth, three times. Poetry does so by attacking the emotions of people, leading to a corrupted youth. Therefore, to stop further damage to the people, Plato exiled all the poets and their arts from the city. Thus, leaving no more emotions to be pulled or youth to be tainted.
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