Plato and the Affect of Art and Poetry

1772 WordsFeb 20, 20068 Pages
Plato and the Affect of Art and Poetry In the Republic of Plato, the famous philosopher that followed in the footsteps of Socrates, Plato created the ideal society in which would only be successful if its citizens were "just." Every being in his Republic has a certain telos, or destiny in life, which must be followed in order for the Polis to thrive. Their actions are guided by their desire to discover and attain knowledge of the absolute truth or true "form." These forms are an aspect of reality, that consists of unchanging, eternal, perfect entities. According to Plato, only the forms can be objects of knowledge. In other words, there is only one true object, which is the form, and everything else is just a replica or "imitation" of…show more content…
Plato and Socrates both agree that great imaginative works should be able to be revised so as long as they promote a moral ending that include virtues of the state, such as wisdom, courage, temperance, and justice. Throughout Plato's idea of censoring art and poetry, more specifically fiction, he completely ignores the other possibility of using what he calls "bad" fiction to teach the younger generations of its untruthfulness and thus preventing it from reoccurring. Fiction is defined as an assumption of a possibility as a fact without questioning its truthfulness. Therefore, if we use and speak negatively of "bad" fiction throughout the educational process of the guardian class and explain why it can ultimately hurt the Polis, it then will prevent it from happening again and making it identifiable in the future. However, Plato believes that with his strict education process, the need for fiction will eventually disappear. Throughout Plato's ideal Republic, he stands firm on his disregard for poetic imitation, however his reasons seem to be preventing people from discovering the absolute truth of an object. Plato believes that the knowledge of poetry is based off of appearances only, because poets mainly focus on imagery or imitations. In order for a poet or an artist to successfully complete a masterpiece, he or she
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