Glaucon in the Republic

Topics: Justice, Plato, Soul Pages: 3 (1047 words) Published: December 10, 2002
In Plato's Republic, Glaucon is introduced to the reader as a man who loves honor, sex, and luxury. As The Republic progresses through books and Socrates' arguments of how and why these flaws make the soul unhappy began to piece together, Glaucon relates some of these cases to his own life, and begins to see how Socrates' line of reasoning makes more sense than his own. Once Glaucon comes to this realization, he embarks on a path of change on his outlook of what happiness is, and this change is evidenced by the way he responds during he and Socrates' discourse. The first change in character begins with Glaucon's position on whether or not the unjust soul is happier than the just soul. This is seen in Book 4, 445b, when he argues against Socrates' proposal that they define justice in the individual. He feels that this is a ridiculous inquiry because, through Socrates' proofs, unjust behavior causes the soul to be in a state of unrest and torment. Glaucon believes that the query warrants no further investigation, since an individual whose soul is unbalanced cannot possibly be happy. Through his objections to pursue the matter further, it can be seen that Glaucon has already begun to transform, though gradually. He sees now, through his own admission, that material possessions and power is not worth having "when his soul – the very thing by which he lives – is ruined and in turmoil." These feelings stem from the conclusion of the three classes within the city (thus, the three parts of the soul) and Socrates' definition of justice in the individual. He proves that the person who is just is the one who does not permit one part of the soul to rule over the other part (or, in terms of the city, one who does not allow the various classes to meddle with each other's work). Another change exhibited by Glaucon is in Book 3, 413c. Socrates comments that "the ‘victims of magic' are those who change their mind because they are under the spell of pleasure or fear." In...
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