Plato, The, And The Myth Of Er

1757 Words Feb 25th, 2016 8 Pages
In 399 BCE, nineteen years before Plato transcribed Republic, classical Greek philosopher Socrates was formally put on trial and executed on the citation of two “impious” acts: having “failed to acknowledge the gods that the city acknowledges” and “introducing new deities.” These two recognized accusations, and the punishment that Socrates paid for them through a poisonous hemlock-based liquid, was witnessed by his student, Plato. Plato was inspired to later write Socratic works and dialogues dedicated to Socrates’ memory and teachings; including his Republic, in which ‘Socrates’ (through defining “justice”) develops a “perfect” city in speech. In this dialogue, the heavy presence of religion may almost be construed as ironic—as much of the dialogue praises “rationality” and “truth,” traits often not often associated with religion, because it cannot be proven. In the Republic, religion is spoken of both directly and indirectly through the Myth of the Metals and the Myth of Er, stories created by ‘Socrates’ in order to help persuade the population of his fictitious city to obey certain rules and laws.

“I went down to Piraeus yesterday with Glaucon to say a prayer to the goddess…After we had said our prayer and watched the procession, we started back toward town. Then Polemarchus, the son of Caphalus, saw us from a distance…and [asked] us to wait for him…” (372a). From its first taste, Plato’s Republic features a religious backdrop. If it weren’t for Socrates’ journey to…

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