The Republic By Plato

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In book X of The Republic, Plato uses Socrates as his voice to discuss the topic of poetry in his ideal society. While he sees music and gymnastics as vital parts of society, he sees poetry as something that’s not only unnecessary, but also harmful. Glaucon is surprised by this and questions the reasons Socrates has this way of thinking. Socrates states that “all such poetry is likely to distort the thought of anyone who hears it, unless he has the knowledge of what it is really like”. Here, Socrates is stating that the main reason poetry should be banished is due to the fact that it’s merely an imitation of true knowledge and since it’s not true knowledge itself, it can provide a warped version of what that knowledge is. There are several other reasons why Plato thinks that banishing poetry would be more beneficial to society. To him, an imitation, no matter how good, will always be inferior to the original. One example Plato would possibly use is a house. If someone tried to draw a picture of the house would the picture match perfectly with the house? The answer to that is no. The reason for this is that the picture could be drawn only from one side and if the house was drawn from another angle, it would look different. Also, the picture could be missing the features that surround the house such as trees, bushes, and walkways. The picture of the house would only show part of the whole house, thus displaying that part of the truth doesn’t show the whole truth. To Plato, an

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