Comparing Oresteia and The Republic

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Comparing Oresteia and The Republic

The tragic poet Aeschylus, and the philosopher Plato have arguably

written two of the most influencing works ever in western history. The Oresteia, and The Republic each respectively depicts its individual accounts of how justice came to exist in human society.

In the ancient

In the famous dialogs of Socrates, The Republic attempts to analyze society rationally and change the state so that individuals could attain the Socratic goal of moral excellence. For Socrates, the just state could not be founded on tradition because tradition was not based on rational thinking, nor on the doctrine of power and strength being right. This just state to which Socrates refers adhered to universally valid principles aimed at the moral improvement of its citizens, not at increasing its strength and material possessions. In order for this just state to succeed, only the best rulers distinguished by wisdom and virtue could exert power. By and large the scope of The Republic was to establish the guidelines for a just state.

The just state, according to Plato, is composed of three classes. The classic story of the metals appropriately distinguishes the craftsmen class as the bronze, the guardians as silver and the most precious metal of all, gold are within the philosopher kings.

The economic structure of the state is maintained by the craftsmen. Security needs are met by the military class, and political leadership is provided by the philosopher-kings. A particular person's active role or class in this society is determined by natural inclination (myth of the metals) and educational process that begins at birth and proceeds until that person has reached the maximum level of education compat...

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...everyone's perception of just is different. We know that the idea of justice is there, but to explain it so everyone agrees would be hard to achieve. However, in trying to find true justice the society becomes stronger and more just. Expressing individuality that benefits or hurts a society however reflects assertiveness, incentive, thought, and creativity, which strengthens the society. If a society ever got to the point of being just, the society would no longer have greed, nor strive for a better life. The society would not have poverty or wealth. The society would just stop. There would be no more invention, growth, or change. The only change from Plato's time to ours is technology. We are still searching for the perfect government, the question of who is better than who is still being asked, and education is still a major factor in achieving success.
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