For hundreds of years, Plato has been admired as a writer, a master rhetorician, an artist, and above all, a philosopher; however, Plato's backlashes against sophistry and art have led to much confusion concerning his ideas and beliefs. John Poulakos says of Plato, "[F]or most rhetoricians Plato has always played the same role he assigned to the sophists--the enemy" (Nienkamp 1). Plato will always appear to be the skilled rhetorician or artist who speaks out against rhetoric and art. In Apology and Phaedrus we see the character of Socrates rail against writing because it can quickly get out of control of the author and just as easily be misinterpreted, yet Plato is known for his skillful dialogical writing. In reference to the Divided Line, Plato informs us that art is one of the lowest forms because it is no more than an illusion, yet Plato uses his artistic ability in "Simile of a Cave" to help us understand the journey to knowledge. This ambiguity within the texts leads to, what appears to be, Plato contradicting himself; however, to fully understand these contradictions we must ask ourselves, "Who is the real Plato?" Plato's contradictory nature and overall ambiguity make the lines of distinction between the writer, the rhetorician, the artist, and the philosopher become blurred, so it is difficult for anyone to understand or explain the real Plato.
Jean Nienkamp says of Plato, "[He is] the writer who writes that nothing of importance can be conveyed through writing; the word-smith who argues that words are but imitations of imitations at the same time that he insists on precise definitions, divisions... " (1). In Phaedrus, Plato presents some of his more powerful arguments against writing. Most...
... middle of paper ...
Plato. Euthyphro. Trans. G.M.A. Grube. Indianapolis: Hacket Publishing Company Inc., 1981: 5-22.
Plato. Meno. Trans. G.M.A. Grube. Indianapolis: Hacket Publishing Company Inc., 1981: 57-88.
Plato. Phaedo. Trans. G.M.A. Grube. Indianapolis: Hacket Publishing Company Inc., 1981: 89-155.
Plato. Phaedrus. Trans. A. Nehamas and P. Woodruff. Amherst: Hermagoras Press, 1999: 165-213.
Plato. "Simile of a Cave." The Republic. Trans. Desmond Lee. Boston: Pearson Custom Publishing, 2002: 1-9.
Tejera, Victorino. "The Apology and the Phaedo: Plato's Tragic Humor." Plato's Dialogues One by One: A Dialogical Interpretation. Lanham: University Press of America, Inc., 1999.
Thesleff, Holger. "In Search of Dialogue." Plato's Dialogues: New Studies and Interpretations. Ed. Gerald A. Press. Lanham: Rowan and Littlefield Publishers, Inc., 1993: 259-266.
Need Writing Help?
Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.Check your paper »
- Plato who was a Greek philosopher and was the founder of the academy in Athens. Plato was Socrates student, but as education furthered, he began to form his own ideals. Plato’s Republic, translated from the New Standard Greek Text and an introduction by C.D.C. Reeve is the compilation of Plato’s teachings. An incredibly common concept that is discussed throughout the text is the idea of Justice and what it truly means to be just and to live a just life. Plato is asked to argue his definition of justice and explain why his definition is the correct one.... [tags: Plato, Soul, Justice, Platonism]
1827 words (5.2 pages)
- ... He argues that there are many holy actions that go beyond persecution of religious dissidents. Similarly, he cites that the gods have often quarrelled among themselves. They, therefore, approve of different things. Socrates, therefore, argues that there is no inherent understanding of holiness among different individuals (Plato. & Gallop, 1997). In his second attempt, Euthyphro posits that holiness is what has been approved of by all the gods. However, Socrates argues that what is holy and what has been approved of the gods cannot be the same.... [tags: holiness, student, knowledge, persecution]
546 words (1.6 pages)
- The Nicene Creed appointed the roles of trinity by using the familiar triad set forth by Plato. God maintains His position as the Father and most important; Jesus becomes a divine human - born of the Father and the Holy Spirit; and the Holy Spirit brings knowledge and truths which are set forth by both the Father and Son. “The true foundation upon which the doctrine rests is God himself… it is God as he acted in history, entering our world as a Jewish carpenter named Jesus, dying and rising again to save.... [tags: trinity, Christianity, new testament]
1307 words (3.7 pages)
- Niccolio Machiavelli (Born May 3rd, 1469 – 1527 Florence, Italy.) His writings have been the source of dispute amongst scholars due to the ambiguity of his analogy of the ‘Nature of Politics'; and the implication of morality. The Prince, has been criticised due to it’s seemingly amoral political suggestiveness, however after further scrutiny of other works such as The Discourses, one can argue that it was Machiavelli’s intention to infact imply a positive political morality.... [tags: essays research papers]
1559 words (4.5 pages)
- Plato's Phaedo Plato's Phaedo is a dialog between Phaedo, Cebes, and Simmias depicting Socrates explanation as to why death should not be feared by a true philosopher. For if a person truly applies oneself in the right way to philosophy, as the pursuit of ultimate truth, they are preparing themselves for the very act of dying. Plato, through Socrates, bases his proof on the immortality of the soul, and it being the origin of our intellect. Several steps must be taken for the soul to be proven immortal.... [tags: Papers]
2096 words (6 pages)
- SOCRATES AND HIS OBJECTION TO THE SOPHISTS’ MISSION. Research Question: who were the Sophists and what was Socrates’ main objection to their program. Socrates did not dispute the fact that the Sophists were wise people, however, he believed that they were ignorant of their own ignorance and were unwilling to accept this fact. First of all, I would like to describe who the sophists were. The sophists were great orators and great speakers. They were thought to use words of ambiguity and rhetoric when they spoke in public.... [tags: Plato, Socrates, Truth, Apology]
1361 words (3.9 pages)
- Confusion Confusion plagues everyone in the world. Daily people are subject to struggles that involve them being confused and allow them to not fully take in what the world has to offer. Confusion simply put is the "impaired orientation with respect to time, place, or person; a disturbed mental state." With that said it is evident that many things a susceptible to confusion, and being confused. When reading Plato one cannot help to be confused, some confused on the general meaning others confused on the actual wording.... [tags: Plato]
911 words (2.6 pages)
- Plato's Criticism of Democracy Do not be angry with me for speaking the truth; no man will survive who genuinely opposes you or any other crowd and prevents the occurrence of many unjust and illegal happenings in the city. A man who really fights for justice must lead a private, not a public, life if he is to survive for even a short time. (Apology 31e-32a) These are the words of Socrates, who spoke before the Athenian jury in the trial that would, ultimately, condemn him to his death. Through works such as the Apology and The Republic, we can see Plato’s distaste of the concept of democracy.... [tags: Plato]
1688 words (4.8 pages)
- Plato was born to an aristocratic family in Athens, Greece. When he was a child his father, Ariston, who was believed to be descended from the early kings of Athens died, and his mother, Perictione married Pyrilampes. As a young man Plato was always interested in political leadership and eventually became a disciple of Socrates. He followed his philosophy and his dialectical style, which is believed to be the search for truth through questions, answers, and additional questions. After witnessing the death of Socrates at the hands of the Athenian democracy in 399 B.C., Plato left Athens and continued to travel to Italy, Sicily, and Egypt.... [tags: Plato Biography]
1795 words (5.1 pages)
- Plato's Apology Plato’s Apology is the story of the trial of Socrates, the charges brought against him and his maintaining of his own innocence throughout the process. At the onset of the trial, Socrates appears to challenging the charges, which included corrupting the youth, challenging belief in the gods that were accepted and reveled by the State, and introducing a new religious focus, but also belittles his own significance and suggesting that he will not attempt to disprove that he participated in the actions maintained by the court.... [tags: Apology by Plato]
1076 words (3.1 pages)
- The Anglo-Saxon poems, The Wanderer, The Seafarer, and The Wife’s Lament
- Canterbury Tales Essay - Sexuality in The Wife of Bath and the Pardoner
- Fantasy vs. Reality in J. M. Coetzee's Disgrace
- An Analysis of Joyce Carol Oates’ Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been
- The Medieval Church, The Book of Margery Kempe and Everyman
- Back to Nature in Henry David Thoreau’s Walden