Plato's Republic

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Plato's Republic

In Plato’s Republic, Glaucon is introduced to the reader as a man who loves honor, sex, and luxury. As The Republic progresses through books and Socrates’ arguments of how and why these flaws make the soul unhappy began to piece together, Glaucon relates some of these cases to his own life, and begins to see how Socrates’ line of reasoning makes more sense than his own. Once Glaucon comes to this realization, he embarks on a path of change on his outlook of what happiness is, and this change is evidenced by the way he responds during he and Socrates’ discourse.

The first change in character begins with Glaucon’s position on whether or not the unjust soul is happier than the just soul. This is seen in Book 4, 445b, when he argues against Socrates’ proposal that they define justice in the individual. He feels that this is a ridiculous inquiry because, through Socrates’ proofs, unjust behavior causes the soul to be in a state of unrest and torment. Glaucon believes that the query warrants no further investigation, since an individual whose soul is unbalanced cannot possibly be happy. Through his objections to pursue the matter further, it can be seen that Glaucon has already begun to transform, though gradually. He sees now, through his own admission, that material possessions and power is not worth having “when his soul – the very thing by which he lives – is ruined and in turmoil.” These feelings stem from the conclusion of the three classes within the...
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