Plato's The Republic: The Myth Of Metals

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When Plato wrote the Myth of Metals in the timeless classic The Republic, it was used to describe citizens of Kallipolis, a fictional utopia. As the myth follows, the citizens of Kallipolis are descendants from the same god. While this higher being was forming these individuals, he instilled within each of their souls different metals. Gold for those capable of ruling, silver for the guardians, and iron and bronze for the farmers and craftsmen. Socrates presents this myth in order to demonstrate how lying is beneficial to the rule of the state. It is clear to contemporary readers that the citizens of Kallipolis are not truly equal, the same statement can be said of the citizens of the United States. The Myth of Metals seems to persist in ways that are not as fanciful as describe in The Republic, but through social stratification.…show more content…
Plato writes, “For the most part you will produce children like yourselves; but, because you are all related, a silver child will occasionally be born to a golden parent, a golden child to a silver parent, and so on.” We see exactly this in American society. A study done in 2015 titled “Economic Mobility in the United States,” shows us that children who are born into families of poverty, are more likely to remain in poverty or maintain a low income as an adult compared to a child who is not. However, examples are all around us which display that sometimes those who come from nothing do break the perpetual cycle of poverty. Individuals such as Oprah Winfrey, Harry S. Truman (yes I just put them on a list together), and Ursula Burns all faced extreme adversity while growing up. And while Plato argues that those born of gold souls are leaders, his Myth does apply differently here. The three individuals above are not all political leaders, but leaders in their own right, and extremely influential in a number of ways. They were gold souls born to a family of
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