As with all other topics discussed in “The Republic of Plato,” the section in which he discusses the myths of the metals or the “noble lie” is layered with questioning and potential symbolism, possible contradiction, and a significant measure of allusion. In Chapter X of “The Republic,” Plato presents “The Selection of Rulers: The
Guardians’ Manner of Living.” In it, he discusses the necessities of education as they apply to the appropriate selection of and reparation for the community’s leaders.
As in other areas of “The Republic,” Plato carefully outlines the delineations which form the basis for the types of rulers to be installed in the state. “Rulers” (legislative and udicial), “Auxiliaries” (executive), and “Craftsmen” (productive and fficacious) are the titles of the categories and are based, not on birth or wealth, but on natural capacities and aspirations. Plato was convinced that children born into any class should still be moved up or down based on their merits regardless of their connections or heritage. He believes the citizens of the State will support and benefit from such a system and presents the idea in the form of an allegorical myth.
His allegory was based in part on the prevalent belief that some people were literally “autochthonous,” born from the soil, and partly from the stories of the philosopher Hesiod who chronicled the genealogy of the gods and goddesses as well as their accomplishments and exploits. Hesiod’s account of the Golden, Silver, and Bronze races which had succeeded one another before the current to “The Republic’s” age of Iron forms the basis for the myths of the metals. Since the ancient Greeks were convinced that all myths were primarily the work of even more ancient poets who had been inspired by the
Muses, some ther “divine” force, or consciously invented, the lesson in the story of the metals was to be paid attention to in order to learn the important truth (or truths) that form the core of the information to be transferred to the young and untrained mind of the future leaders in training.
“They must have the right sort of intelligence and ability; and also they must look upon the commonwealth as their special concern – the sort of concern that is felt for something so closely bound up with oneself that its interests and fortunes, for good or ill, are held to be identical with one’s own” (The Republic of Plato ...
... middle of paper ...
...crates takes the allegory of the metals one step further to explain to Glaucon that the future Guardians must even be kept from concerns or desires for silver and metal since, “Gold and silver, we shall tell them, they will not need, having the divine counterparts of those metals in their souls as a god-given possession” (The Republic of Plato X:III-417). He goes on to say that the Guardians are not to come in contact with gold and silver and lays out a plan by which they will neither need or desire the trappings of glory and wealth since they are always clothed in gold and silver and riches as part of their inner being.
He is convinced that if an individual who is a cobbler or a farmer “goes to the bad and pretends to be what he is not” (The Republic of Plato X:III-420) the entire well-being of the state is not in jeopardy. But such is most certainly not the case if the person is a Guardian or Auxiliary. There is no point, Socrates says, in producing a happiness like that of a “party of peasants feasting at a fair.” Such a person who would aspire to such a community “has something in mind other than a civic community” (The Republic of Plato X:III-421). Of course, Glaucon agrees.
Need Writing Help?
Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.Check your paper »
- As with all other topics discussed in “The Republic of Plato,” the section in which he discusses the myths of the metals or the “noble lie” is layered with questioning and potential symbolism, possible contradiction, and a significant measure of allusion. In Chapter X of “The Republic,” Plato presents “The Selection of Rulers: The Guardians’ Manner of Living.” In it, he discusses the necessities of education as they apply to the appropriate selection of and reparation for the community’s leaders.... [tags: essays research papers]
1183 words (3.4 pages)
- The Noble Lie In Bloom's second edition of "The Republic of Plato," there are many troubling issues. The one that strikes me the most, however, is the idea of the "noble lie." I find this completely disturbing for a number of reasons. It is immoral and wrong to deliberately deceive someone. This idea also completely contradicts Socrates' argument that it is beneficial to be just. In the discussion between Socrates and Glaucon that involved how to create an ideal city, they divided the people into three classes: rulers, auxiliaries, and craftsmen.... [tags: Papers]
951 words (2.7 pages)
- The Role of the Noble Lie in the Iliad and the Republic Lie – 2 : something that misleads or deceives Noble – 5 : possessing, characterized by, or arising from superiority of mind or character or of ideals or morals (Merriam-Webster Dictionary) The very thought of a noble lie is contradictory, yet Plato uses it as the basis for stability within his perfect republic. The concept that a lie so deeply ingrained in society will allow it to remain peaceful is generally thought to be unique to Plato.... [tags: Comparison Compare Contrast Essays]
1190 words (3.4 pages)
- Plato’s ideal society is one that depends on the just actions of its people. In his utopia, all men and women are able to maximize their potential and in turn utilize their talents and skills for the good of all. Happy citizens form a happy society. This perfect society has been both praised and criticized on the basis of some radical elements it possesses: The citizens of Plato’s ideal society are able to curb their self-interest, and because they are happy, or at least psychologically conditioned to believe that they are, these people choose to join in the collective effort and submit to the philosopher-king’s rule for the benefit of all.... [tags: Reflection, Utopia, Conditioning]
894 words (2.6 pages)
- What is justice. Obviously, the word can have multiple meanings. If we were to walk in the Student Center and ask ten people what justice was, they probably all would have different responses. I am not saying that they would not have some of the same ideas, but ultimately, their responses would vary. Having said that, what if one of the people's ideas of justice included injustices. For example, Adolf Hitler believed that justice would be reached by completely wiping out Jewish people and creating a "perfect" blonde-haired, blue-eyed Aryan race.... [tags: Plato Philosophy Society]
1449 words (4.1 pages)
- Plato’s The Republic and Thomas Hobbes’ Leviathan are key texts within the conservative tradition. They each explore the human condition and its relationship to society at large. The two theorists recognize the need for a hierarchical form of government to maintain order; however, they differ in their account of the effect of desires, and emotions on political order and hierarchy. Plato asserts that desires lead to the ultimate corruption of society, whereas Hobbes believes that certain innate desires can contribute to peace.... [tags: Thomas Hobbes, Political philosophy, Leviathan]
1376 words (3.9 pages)
- Justice in Plato's Republic In Plato’s The Republic, he unravels the definition of justice. Plato believed that a ruler could not be wholly just unless one was in a society that was also just. Plato did not believe in democracy, because it was democracy that killed Socrates, his beloved teacher who was a just man and a philosopher. He believed in Guardians, or philosophers/rulers that ruled the state. One must examine what it means for a state to be just and what it means for a person to be just to truly understand the meaning of justice. According to Socrates, “…if we first tried to observe justice in some larger thing that possessed it, this would make it easier to observe in... [tags: Philosophy Religion Essays]
961 words (2.7 pages)
- Philosophy can be defined as the highest level of clarity and understanding human thought can aspire to. In some ways, Plato’s Republic can be compared to George Orwell’s book 1984. It may seem strange to compare the two, however they are quite similar. Plato writes from the Western philosophy, while Orwell tells of a totalitarian society where all free thought is banned. However, the two versions of government, one being a utopian government, and the other being horrific, contain certain connections that will be made clear over the course of this paper.... [tags: Nineteen Eighty-Four, Totalitarianism, Noble lie]
1380 words (3.9 pages)
- In Book III of Plato’s Republic Socrates is describing his “just society”. He uses the metaphor of people being made of metal to describe which class they belong in. He uses an example of “some men the power of command, and in the composition of these he has mingled gold, wherefore also they have the greatest honour”. He then describes the next class of people being made of silver, who are to be “auxiliaries”, which is describing some sort of warrior. The final two classes of people he describes are composed of brass and iron, which will be the “husbandmen and craftsmen”.... [tags: talent, social classes, utilitarianism]
1071 words (3.1 pages)
- The focus of Socrates at this time in Plato’s Republic is of the ideal city and how it can be traced to the human soul. Socrates believes that the city he has proposed to the other men is perfect in itself. He says that this city possesses four virtues which are the base for the city being perfect. These are the virtues of wisdom, courage, moderation and lastly but most importantly is the virtue of justice. He breaks down the city into classes and he says how each man within the city is responsible for what his life work is.... [tags: essays research papers]
1337 words (3.8 pages)