Glaucon in the Republic

1047 WordsDec 10, 20025 Pages
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…show more content…
Glaucon's statement indicates fear – he worries about going back down to the cave or, returning to his former ignorance. This shows that Glaucon has not only embraced the idea of the cave, differing from his initial confusion, but he has also realized and accepted the truth and reasoning of Socrates. He has become the cave dweller who has been given the chance to escape, and he now fears going back. The next example of Glaucon's transformation is during Book 9, 576e, when he states that "there is no city more wretched than one ruled by a tyrant…". Socrates is discussing how the four types of inferior souls bring about the ruin of the city. He then poses to Glaucon the question of whether a city ruled by a tyrant or philosopher-king is happier, in which he compels Glaucon to examine the whole of the city, and not just one or a few people who are a part of it, (or, the whole of the soul and not just one part over the exclusion of others). Glaucon's response demonstrates that he now sees that the one who possesses power and riches is, in reality, is unhappy than the one who possesses knowledge and truth of self and the forms. He is answering his own question that he introduced in Book 2, and his answer is that the most just man, who is the philosopher-king in this dialogue, is happiest. The unjust man, being the tyrant, is unhappiest. This is expanded when Glaucon ranks the five actors in accordance to their contentment as he
Open Document