The Republic of Plato Book VII: A Close Analysis

945 Words Aug 3rd, 2013 4 Pages
Socrates continues the conversation with Glaucon and now focuses on the obligation of the guardians and philosophers to serve the people as a result of their education. Socrates describes people in a cave since birth, bound so they can only see what is in front of them. There are shadows and sounds that can be observed but the source is unknown. Socrates says in 515c, “…such men would hold that the truth is nothing other than the shadows of artificial things.” Their reality is limited by their experience. Then a prisoner is freed from the bonds and is forced to look at the fire and the statues that were used to cast the shadows on the walls. He is overwhelmed by the revelations and learns that the shadows were not the reality. …show more content…
“If beggars, men hungering for want of private goods, go into public affairs supposing that in them they must seize the goods…ruling becomes a thing fought over…destroys these men…and the rest of the city as well.” (521a) Throughout history, and in present political environments of the world, the leaders - or guardians - have not always been raised up to rule with an attitude of gratitude or obligation to ensure the harmony of the commonwealth. Many times kings, dictators, presidents and emperors have been, and are, the opposite kind of rulers that Socrates refers to in the earlier statement. Things that are good and just may be lost when states (countries, nations) come into conflict with other states that have contradictory leadership and cultures, like the just man being less well off than the unjust man in earlier

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