The Noble Lie In Plato's The Republic

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What is justice? This is the crucial question that Plato attempts to answer in his dialogue, The Republic. He conjures up an allegory that justice can be found in a person, and a person can represent a city. Thus, his entire dialogue focuses on this ‘just’ city and the mechanics of how the city would operate. His dialogue covers a myriad of topics about justice in addition to the human soul, politics, goodness and truth. In his discussion over how the citizens should be educated and how to control their knowledge, the question of the ethical and realistic expectations of the city. However, the problem, or downfall, of Plato’s city is its foundation. A foundation of lies. Plato’s web of lies, falsehoods and manipulation make the entire city…show more content…
Plato’s noble lie is one of the most radical ideas to divide a city due to its heavy reliance on a lie and the successful manipulation of a great mass of people. Plato first introduces his noble lie when explaining to his friends how a guardian would be created: “All of you in the city are brothers…but god was moulding you, for those of you fitted to rule he used gold as part of the mixture…which is why you are the most valued, while for the auxiliaries he mixed in silver, and iron and bronze for the farmers and craftsmen” (415b-415d). By associating the most precious metal, gold, with the guardian group of society, Plato sections off the top twenty-fifth percent of the citizens like they’re more valuable, and so on with the auxiliaries, farmers and craftsmen. The noble lie belittles and reduces the bottom fifty-percent creating unhealthy and unstable relationships and standards in the just city which, in reality, are extremely unstable. Furthermore, Plato adds what would happen if two metals of different values were to mix and produce offspring. “And if their [gold or silver] very ow offspring turns out to be touches with bronze or iron, they won’t in any way feel sorry for it, but instead accord it the honor its nature…show more content…
Was Plato trying to show what an ‘unjust’ city would look like? Why would he do that? The analysis and discussion of Plato’s ‘just’ city opens new doors about Plato, himself, and his intentions. From this analysis on the city’s short comings, one can spring more and more ideas about his ‘republic’ and his ‘ideals’ forever. This one analysis is only a small interpretation, or perspective of a small portion, or passage of The
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