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The Republic | Key Figures

Key Figure Description
Socrates Socrates is both the narrator and the driving force of the Republic. In Plato's depiction he pursues the truth through a reasoned question-and-answer process. He is also famous for Socratic irony, a self-deprecating outlook whose typical expression is a profession of his own ignorance. Read More
Glaucon Glaucon is Plato's older brother who plays a major role in the Republic. He is one of Socrates's principle interlocutors, or dialogue participants. Read More
Adeimantus Like Glaucon, Adeimantus is an older brother of Plato. He was much closer to the author in age. His portrayal as a pessimist contrasts with Glaucon's spirited outlook. Read More
Thrasymachus Thrasymachus is Socrates's primary antagonist in the dialogue. He is portrayed as rude and aggressive. Read More
Achilles Achilles is the hero of Homer's epic, the Iliad.
Aeschylus Aeschylus is one of the three most renowned Athenian tragic dramatists.
Cephalus Cephalus is an elderly, wealthy patriarch living in Piraeus, the port of Athens; the Republic is set in his house.
Euripides Euripides is an Athenian tragic dramatist.
Helen Helen is the legendary wife of Menelaus, king of Sparta. Her abduction by the Trojan prince Paris was traditionally held to be the cause of the Trojan War.
Hesiod Hesiod is an ancient Greek poet, roughly contemporary with Homer. His works on religion included the Theogony, while his poetry on farming is exemplified by the Works and Days. Hesiod is an important source for many of the best-known tales of Greek mythology.
Homer Homer is the Greek epic poet who orally composed the Iliad and Odyssey, probably sometime in the eighth century BCE.
Odysseus Odysseus is the hero of Homer's epic, the Odyssey.
Pindar Pindar is a Greek lyric poet active in early- to mid-fifth century BCE.
Polemarchus Polemarchus is the son of Cephalus; like his father he plays only a minor part in the dialogue.
Simonides Simonides is a Greek lyric poet.
Sophocles Sophocles is an Athenian tragic dramatist.
Stesichorus Stesichorus is a Greek lyric poet, active in the sixth century BCE.
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