Plato as theorist of the power of the media
Soc.’s strictures apply not only to poetry and music (
see my n.28
to p.61 of translation), but to wide range of media and culturally significant artefacts
These are all the more dangerous (potentially) because they do their work
Among media, influence of music/ poetry gets ingrained most directly and
deeply, shaping character and becoming the source of an immediate response to
beauty and ugliness (401d-402a).
Therefore we should not leave these effects to haphazard or to tradition
(377b-c), but should control them.
No stories are innocent (as Adeim. pointed out in
his Book 2 speech).
Censoring the content of poetry (377a-392c)
Bad behaviour as such is not censored from the Guardian’s literature (e.g.
380b, 388a, 391d, 396a,d); only bad behaviour done by
(gods and heroes,
378b, 388d, 391d-e).
Censorship of content of traditional stories about gods and heroes (sons
of gods) justified on two grounds:
these stories are (i) untrue, or logically
inconsistent (377d, 378c, 380c, 381e, 386c, 391c, e)
and (ii) inexpedient (will not
make Guardians fit for their job, 378c, 380c, 381e, 383c, 386a, b, 387b, 388d-e,
389d, 391e), even if they