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plato - Anish Kanoria Paper#6 CC 101 Sections B4 and...

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Anish Kanoria Paper #6 CC 101 Sections B4 and C4 (Hamill) Poetry: Good or Bad for the Soul? In the Odyssey we saw a recurring celebration of poetry and story-telling. However, Socrates/Plato condemns all poetry including epic, tragedy and comedy in books III and X of The Republic citing the influence of drama/music on the guardian class as inappropriate and unreliable. Dear Socrates, Having read Plato’s Republic I am aware of his views on poetry with which I both agree and dis- agree. But first, I would like to define poetry both in terms of what Plato thinks and what I may have been lead to believe. Just to reiterate, Plato banishes all poets from his ideal city on the grounds that, to him, they are mere images of actual tangible entities. And just by the virtue of its tangibility, animate physical objects are superior to those that are not, namely poetry. Furthermore, poets talk about human vices which unnecessarily corrupts the human mind. On the contrary one can also be lead to believe that “poets are the unacknowledged legislators of the world.” 1 This is so because poetry presents to us a new way of looking at things. They add to the human mind a new dimensions, opening up new ways for the human mind to look at sorrow and bad things, which can possibly reduce their bad affects on humans. It also introduces creativity and birth of a new intelli- gence. Socrates’ argument against poetry is that it, if it were removed from the face of the earth, as would be in the case in his ideal city, generations would be raised without the knowledge of human falla- cies or any such behaviour. In such a society these ideals would not be possible to create. In the book of Genesis, in the Hebrew Bible, God creates humans with the intentions of creating beings without any evil feelings or even any awareness of it. However, Eve is tempted and all of human
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