The Reading Of Plato 's Republic Essay

The Reading Of Plato 's Republic Essay

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Throughout this class, the main goal was to analyze these texts as though we were scholars, and to make connections and identify common themes amongst them. By doing so, we were supposed to be able to more deeply understand each text and the argument each was making. Throughout the readings, the most prominent themes were that of struggle and division, though it is certainly more prevalent and obvious in certain texts than others. Though all the texts depict division and struggle, they focus on different societal divisions. These texts allow the reader to perhaps see these struggles through another lens, though perhaps a more subjective one.
This depiction of struggle first became clear during the reading of Plato 's Republic in book I, where Thrasymachus said of justice, "Justice is nothing more than what is advantageous for the stronger" (Plato 15). When examined further, Thrasymachus ' answer came to mean that what benefits the stronger, more powerful class of people is what he calls justice. Thrasymachus ' answer posed a struggle between those with more power and influence and those who held less powerful positions in their respective City-states. While Socrates overturned Thrasymachus ' definition of justice, the discussion turned to government and justice in Book VIII, when Socrates spoke of the eventual decay of government into Tyranny. In describing Timocracy, a form of government in which property ownership is required for participation in government and in which honor is the ruling principle and the man with which it corresponds, Socrates states that this man is "harsh to slaves" (Plato 244) and "submissive to rulers" (Plato 244). This divide in classes becomes further by the progression of Timocracy to Oligarchy, in w...


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... struggle between multiple ethnic and social groups. Wollstonecraft writes of the struggle for equality between men and women (in certain areas at least). Plato, like Marx, depicts division of classes.
In all of these texts the themes of division and struggle are prominent and powerful. Without division, it is impossible to have struggle. As such, these texts, though mainly highlighting the struggle in their respective texts, also give time to explain the division from which these differences and struggles arise, whether it be Bourgeoisie and Proletariat, or LGBTQ and Heterosexual, or Men and Women, or what have it. It is the fact that society is not a homogeneous mixture, but rather a heterogeneous one, that create the struggles that these writers write about. It is in the specific divisions and their solutions to these divisions in which the authors truly differ.

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