University of Central Florida

platos republic

If you reflect, first, that the part of our soul that is forcibly controlled in our private misfortunes and that hungers for the satisfaction of weeping and wailing, because it desires these things by nature, is the very part that receives satisfaction and enjoyment from poets and, second, that the part of ourselves that is best by nature, since it hasn’t been adequately educated by reason or habit, relaxes its guard over the lamenting part when it is watching the sufferings of somebody else. The reason it does so is this: It thinks that there is no shame involved for it involved in praising or pitying another man who, in spite of his claim to goodness, grieves excessively. Indeed, it thinks that there is definite gain in doing so, namely, pleasure. And it wouldn’t want to be deprived of that by despising the whole poem. I suppose that only a few people are able to figure out that enjoyment of other people’s suffering is necessarily transferred to our own and that the pitying part, if its nourished and strengthened by the sufferings of others, won’t be easily held in check when we ourselves suffer. ( 606a-c)


Question 6: What danger does repeatedly listening/watching poetic performance pose to the soul?


Poetry strengthens the lowest part of the soul.


Poetry risks transforming us into tyrannic souls.


Poetry causes our reason to weaken and ‘relax its hold.’


1 and 2 only.


All of the above.

Asked by
Last updated by Aslan
Answers 1
Add Yours

Poetry causes our reason to weaken and ‘relax its hold.’