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Animalistic Behavior In Plato's Republic And The Aeneid

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For years evolutionary biologists have studied the development of animals and humans side by side. They have no doubt that certain species of animals, like apes, parallel anatomically with humans. While this is the case scientifically, the ages of literature frame mankind as being something more than animal. Famous philosophers and poets toyed with the idea of what truly sets human behavior apart from animalistic behavior by presenting the idea that animalistic behavior is prominently propelled by appetites and desires. The ability to overcome these appetitive tendencies and to think with reason distinguishes human from animal. Once humans are able to balance the soul with reason, they can live virtuously. This ability to become a virtuous…show more content…
This occurs because their heads are fixed and they are chained to the wall of the cave. The second stage is based on realization. In this stage, individuals are freed from their chains and are able to see the whole cave and it’s reality. These individuals have a speck of knowledge and do not have to rely completely on their imagination. The third stage entails the ability to climb outside of the cave and analyze the world around them. Those in this stage begin to wonder why things are the way they are. Lastly, in the fourth stage, which is the highest level of knowledge, the former prisoners of the cave are able to look up towards the sky and see the light that represents the form of the good. This last stage contains individuals that think predominantly with reason and do not let appetites or spirit derail their soul (Plato ). As individuals travel through these stages, they become less and less animalistic due to this learned ability to think reasonably. While Plato exemplifies the thoughts and beliefs of Greeks in his Republic, Virgil displays what Romans believe to be virtuous within his Aeneid.
The beliefs of the Romans shown through Virgil’s work The Aeneid, align with those of the Greeks in terms of reason. Virgil expresses that it is characteristic of Romans to act out of reason instead of letting their emotions guide them. This type of behavior is praised within the city-state, and ensures all decisions are made in the
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