PLATO- THE REPUBLIC
The title itself suggests the meaning and message of Plato’s work.
In Plato’s Republic, he created the characters which are converted in real life of Plato such as Socrates who is the main character in his dialogue. Since Socrates had a major influence in his life, he designed the dialogue as if he is real. The Republic tells that Plato is Socrates’ disciple. He also used allusion that depicts characters’ role such as Justice, City, Gods, Wisdom, Courage, Temperance, Philosopher, Sophist, Truth, Aristocracy, Tyranny, Desires, Imitation and Guardians.
BOOK I- He discusses the definition of justice that means giving what is due to others, returning what one receives and telling the truth.
BOOK II- A child is spectator of story which shapes their perception in life. I believe that adults may have control on the type of stories a child hears in order for them to guide them.
BOOK III- An excess of lawsuits implies that there are injustices in society. If illegal activities are present, it reflects an unhealthy society.
BOOK IV- I believe that the goal of society whether in free market society or city is to make people happy.
BOOK V- Personally, war is a natural state because there will always be endless battle between good and bad. It is a natural way of life to a lesser or higher degree.
BOOK VI- A king will be a good king if he is a true philosopher. With that, he can rule the society with proper knowledge and power.
BOOK VII- In this section, it tells the allegory of the cave to a modern society. It indicates that our beliefs are shaped by our perception in the society.
BOOK VIII- With my critic of democracy, I believe that true democracy is the absence of poverty and tyranny and absence of illegal and immoral actions.
BOOK IX- According to Plato, philosophy is the highest good. I somehow agree with him because with it, streams the cardinal virtues which became guiding principles in life.
BOOK X- I am really convinced that human nature is essentially good because we are created in the image and likeness of God.
The focal point of The Republic is justice which mirrors that a just man is happier than the rich and powerful man. Also there are four cardinal virtues: wisdom, courage, temperance and justice which imply that they are good guiding principles in life which take people into right path. Man should focus on afterlife because the soul is immortal. To achieve immortality, one should seek knowledge and be good and just.
POINT OF VIEW
He used the third person point of view because he introduces characters who are being talked about in the story. Examples: he, she and they.
He used symbolism to expound the characters’ importance in the dialogue. There are also alluded characters in the story to depict their implication and significance. He also used allegory such as the story of cave as well as simile and metaphor to make an analogy of several characters to modern times.
The mood of the story is very serious, intellectual and philosophical in nature because it expounded about what society should have and should do in order to have a humane society. Therefore, it is very formal.
The tone is instructive because it teaches several philosophical and ethical ideas to people which serves as a guide to be fully actualized people. There should be more people like Plato because his views are provoking, engaging, liberating and transformative. The Republic may be used as part of study in Sociology, Politics and even in Literature classes.
ANALYSIS USING DIFFERENT LITERARY APPROACHES
He made Socrates the protagonist because he was his teacher and his formative youth was greatly influenced by the latter. Although his family is in the circle of politics, he turned away from it because of Socrates’ execution and truly embraced philosophy.
There is that universal application for the archetypes and symbols used in his work. Likewise, the allegory and allusions are really evident in his work.
We can see that Plato would like to depict Socrates’ philosophical ideas and conviction through the Republic. The psychological motivations of the characters he made explicate the norms of conduct and standard of morality, most of all, the socio-moral values.
His work explores the society and the people living in it as well as their hopes and dreams for the common good. It reminds us the human follies of society as well as the hedonistic nature of man. Thus, it awakens people to be good and avoid those follies and hedonism to have immortal soul.
His work really accords with the real world reflecting the modern times and what is happening within and around people and community. His work showed the realistic socio-economic, political and philosophical picture of society.
Here, Plato focused on allegory and allusion delivering to readers a whole new dimension of characters which speak for themselves their role in society. There is a massive philosophical implication and insight on his work fashioning it to be one of the masterpieces in world of literature, philosophy and humanity.
READER RESPONSE APPROACH
Personally, we may consider Plato as one of the greatest philosophers the world has ever known because of his Republic.
The dominating approach to be used in his work, I guess is MORAL/PHILOSOPHICAL APPROACH since it teaches morality and probes philosophical issues. It also explores what society should be and should possess for people to achieve afterlife.
How I admire Plato! He is worthy to be exalted because of his ‘The Republic’. We live now in a plural complex society. In this sociological and structural institution, there exist world views and ideology about the common good. There is a natural moral law to respect the right of each everyone and give what is due to another. In the aspects of society, there are disagreements that some human beings are created more equal than other human beings. Our society does not arrive at a consensus because there are inequalities and injustices. The rampant self-vested interest and abuse of power are the leading reasons why there are revolutions, rallies, strikes and confrontations and anomalies.
Youth of today…. they tremendously embrace imitation just like the character of Imitation. They are trendy, hippie, frivolous, outlandish, angry, insecure, and ill mannered! Teenage stuff like computer games, internet surfing, books, movies, music and party wildly galvanize them. They know the latest craze and glamorize the new trend. They are a combination of different things to people. There’s something they can’t resist. Sometimes, they go all the way. They have the unchecked emotional banks and have the world of our own. They seem not accountable for their actions.
They are media-mediated and become material for values. They absorb the pleasure-seeking value of their frenzied life. They are the prime and major target of the market. Their consumeristic attitude, fantasy activity and flirtatious game are rapidly escalating. They grow up distrusting some of the government officials and leaders. They don’t filter and select the civic minded-to-be-actions employed by Plato’s moral lessons in The Republic.
Jose Rizal wrote the two novels, Noli Me Tangere and El Filibusterismo; Victor Hugo wrote Les Miserables; Mahatma Gandhi applied the civil disobedience; Martin Luther hated the racial discrimination between white and black and what these people have in common? They could not just sit down and cry to witness the injustices encroaching the back of people. They took immediate steps to correct injustices by inspiring people through their writings and by leading people to fight for justice and equality without the use and benefit of deadly arms and swords but of their philosophical ideology. thus, they can be called as heroes in their own right.
I always ask time and again what is the prize of integrity. Why a hero be where heroism’s first requirement is one should be dead? Is heroism wisdom of the fool where it always ends up with infuriatingly unjust death? Why practice integrity when our world universal anthem is “Play it Safe?” Why react and act when the best reaction is to have no reaction? Why stand for the truth when “See No Evil, Hear No Evil and Speak No Evil” is our government’s policy today? Are we committed to our ideals and do we uphold moral integrity? There should be more people who possess integrity. Our world needs people who have strength of character. Strength of character is a quality wherein the strength inside can create a better world outside.
Our world can’t take anymore weak- kneed people… where their principles and values are out of nowhere. We should develop a philosophy in life that we would not compromise. Our philosophy and values in life should not be the subject of compromise. An unshakable philosophy springs forth character ethic. It discerns what is right and what is wrong and questions lax morality. We should fight a good fight; we should not bargain our values for a convenient life. Pleasure means too much pain when moral values are overlooked. We should think that fortune, power and fame are not connected with the dignity of life. We should have integrity wherein what we think, say and do are integrated to one another. It also means that what we think corresponds to what we say and what we say becomes evident and consistent in our actions. It also means that we say what we mean and we mean what we say.
Now, that is integrity. I really have that incessant prayer that our election will really produce people who will serve our country and redeem the poor and corrupt Philippines. Through the glimpse of the past, we can see the undeniable reality that history repeats itself. We still look back and the spine-tingling in justices still corrupt the dignity and worth of man. Injustice is a transitory reflection of the blackness of humanity. The poor becomes poorer, the rich becomes richer, the oppressed becomes more oppressed and the powerful becomes more powerful.
Undoubtedly, we live in a chaotic world . . . saints vs. villains, heroes vs. oppressors. . . good vs. bad. Life has been shattered. It is a matter of yesterday’s fascism and racism and today’s imperialism and worldliness. Vengeful reincarnation of injustice and inequality are still there. They become double standard. They are more favorable to the rich and powerful than the poor and the marginalized people of society that’s why violence is rampant now.
I am saying that because I am tortured by the sight of injustices, imitation and wordly or carnal desire around the globe. They distanced us from God. They are self-destructive because if we succumb to those things, we are the losers. They should be discarded in order for equality and justice prevail in the whole world. Truly so, equality and justice are the values and virtues employed by Plato in his “The Republic.’