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The Effects Of Poetry On His Noble State

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Throughout Republic, Socrates discusses elements that comprise his ideal city. More specifically, in Republic X, Socrates examines the impact of poetry on his noble state. Coming from a negative standpoint, Socrates says that poetry is detrimental to the city for two reasons: one is that, “[poetry] arouses, nourishes, and strengthens this [inferior] part of the soul and so destroys the rational one…”, and the other, “an imitative poet puts a bad constitution in the soul of each individual by making images that are far removed from the truth and by gratifying the irrational part…”.
In the beginning of Republic X, Socrates refers to three kinds of beds made from the form of bed. The bed made by the divine is the form, the bed built by the carpenter in accordance to the form, and the bed painted by the painter in accordance to the image of the form. Socrates explains that the painter is, “an imitator of what the others make.” Since the painter is an imitator, he is deemed, “by nature third from the king and the truth, as are all other imitators.”
By way of the transitive property, Socrates concludes that since imitators also create poetry, poetry too, is third removed from the truth. Socrates then goes on to give examples of the effects that poetry has on people. He first explains what happens to the citizens by saying,
“When even the best of us hear Homer or some other tragedian imitating one of the heroes sorrowing and making a long lamenting speech or singing and beating
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