The Ring of Gyges
The " Ring of Gyges " is a short story from Plato s book, The Republic, written around the fifth century, B.C. Plato believed in an absolute truth and a greater good in mankind, " Ring of Gyges " is a parable told by Glaucon, who retained a more cynical view on us as humans. Glaucon's argument is all people, given the chance to do wrong without consequence, will always do just that. He has no faith in man's desire to do good, or act in a just" manner. This excerpt from the mentioned book, is a conversation between Plato and Glaucon, Glaucon does most of the talking, telling his story of the shepherd from Lydia. In the "Ring of Gyges", Glaucon tells of a shepherd, named Gyges, who was under the service of the king of Lydia. One day while Gyges was tending the flock, a great earthquake came and made an opening in the earth where he happened to be standing. His curiosity led him into the hole, where he is met by many marvels, including the resting place of what he refers to as, a god-like king. Gyges spots and removes a ring from the finger of the dead body lying in this crater, and then climbs back to the surface of the earth. Once back on solid ground he attends to his regular duties. Later, all the shepherds, under the king, come together to have a meeting to prepare the monthly reports for the king. During this meeting, Gyges realizes the power of the ring he holds. He can, by turning the stone atop the ring inside his hand be made invisible, and by turning the stone back, reappear. Through the course of this gathering, Gyges manipulates his situation to insure that he is the messenger chosen to deliver the
prepared reports to the king. Once he reaches the palace, he uses the ring's power to become close to the queen, and they, together, conspire to kill the king. After the king is murdered, Gyges, under the power of this ring, is made ruler of the kingdom. Glaucon ends the conversation with the notion: no man would keep his hands...
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