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“Α critical analysis about the role of poetry in Plato’s Laws.”

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“Α critical analysis about the role of poetry in Plato’s Laws.”
  Pliaki 1  Major essay topic “Α critical analysis about the role of poetry in Plato’s  Laws .” Fani Pliaki (2151!1"#P$%& ' )ncient Philosophy *e+inar Professor, -. a//af 0inter 21!  Pliaki 2 Fro+  Ion  an/ Gorgias  to  Republic  until his last +ature ork  Laws  Plato proi/es us ith an a+bi3uous opinion about poetry4 hich on the one ti+e isconceie/ as hostility an/ on the other ti+e is conceie/ as “thanks3iin3” 3ien that poetry 3ies a han/ to e/ucation of the 3uar/ians an/ le3islation +akin3. %f anyoneent back to Plato’s youth4 he or she coul/ eplain Plato’s fluctuation beteen philosophy an/ poetry by takin3 into consi/eration philosopher’s en3a3e+ent ithtra3ic poetry. 6he connection ith *ocrates as the +ilestone4 hich ur3e/ Plato to burn his earliest /ocu+ents of tra3ic poetry an/ to /eote hi+self entirely to the philosophical thou3ht. )lthou3h4 his repeate/ references to  Iliad   an/ Odyssey  in his/ialo3ues proe that he as an a/+irer of $o+er. 7elon3in3 in the )thenianaristocracy of the fifth century4 Plato as a chil/ ha/ atten/e/ +usic lessons (  μουσική) an/ 3y+nastics ( γυμνσ!ική)  as ell (-reene 15# 4hich as the +ain ele+ents of e/ucation of 3uar/ians’  Republic . $oeer4 fro+ this ork /eries his fa+ous hostile position a3ainst the oral perfor+ance of poetry. %n re3ar/ to the ork of his +ature  Laws" a +ore ise censorship is 3ien an/ the poets are not only epulse/ of thei/eal society but they are also ur3e/ to play a /efinin3 role in the le3islation.6o be3in ith4 Plato in  Laws  atte+pts to fra+e a kin/ of the best society thatcan be reali8e/. %n the thir/ book of &as4 he presents the /an of a society after a/estroyin3 /elu3e (9!:#. %ts citi8ens use/ to be unsophisticate/ people ho lie/ itha pri+itie ay of life 4obiously4 ithout the nee/ of a le3islator since they ere3oo/4 na;e an/ un/er a patriarchal 3oern+ent (9"#. )s ti+e ent on4 seeralfa+ilies +et in a co++on society an/ this lea/ to the chiefs of each one beco+in3 thela3iers of the state hich has arisen (9"1#. Particularly4 as for the le3islatie syste+an/ the poet’s inole+ent in it4 la3ier’s task is to persua/e citi8ens to abi/e thela fosterin3 all their irtues at the sa+e ti+e (7obonich 12#. 0hat is +ore the true  Pliaki 3 le3islator is responsible to persua/e or co+pel the poets to e+ploy only those rhyth+san/ har+onies hich reinforce people ethical behaior (99#. 6he )thenian states thatthe prior poets hae pro/uce/ both 3reat an/ ba/ orks an/ reco++en/s theconte+porary an/ future poets to take the las as an ea+ple for their co+positions.<n top of that4 he su33ests the treatise of &as to be offere/ to the /irector of e/ucation as a pattern for his 3ui/ance ("11#.  Thus, the /iscourse of the  Laws ischaracteri8e/ as “/iinely inspire/” ( ou$ aneu %inos epipnoias %&eon # . =he job of  poetry ill not be ritten by free+en but by salarie/ forei3n e+ployees of the stateof Ma3nesia ("1!#. *pecial las are fra+e/ ith re3ar/ to /ra+a. 6ra3e/ians arealloe/ to co+pose in sake of people in con/ition that their ork ill be censore/ atfirst in or/er to present the+. )lso4 3ien the fact that the  Laws  is to be a ritin3sa+ple for the poetical co+positions4 it is i+plie/ that it ill be as ritten le3islation.Maybe for this reason4 the net 3eneration is ur3e/ to learn ho to rite an/ ho torea/ re3ar/less the fact that the /efinition of the e/ucate/ +an /epen/s +ostly on hisability to sin3 an/ /ance (99# (a//af '2# >pon these theses of Plato about the role of poetry an/ poets a critical analysisis 3ien in the this essay. )s for the criteria by hich % ill analy8e Plato’s ie4firstly % ill reflect on ho clearly he eplains the type in hich his &as are to befor+e/. %s it obious that the le3islation ill be ritten4 poetically perfor+e/ or both?)lso4 if this happens4 hich are the prece/ents for Plato@s position? *econ/ly4 is the job of the poet inferior or eAual ith le3islator’s /uties an/ ho possible it is these jobs to be i/entifie/ in an i/eal state? 6hir/ly4 is it la rather than nous that ill bethe 3ui/in3 force for the citi8ens an/ hat type of free/o+ /oes the poetry pro+ise?)t last4 3ien that +usic an/ /ance as a +ain factor in )ncient -reeks’e/ucation (  paideia )  can that type of knole/3e help the citi8ens to buil/ a better character an/  Pliaki 4 lon3 ter+ to abi/e the la ? %n brief4 this critical analysis ai+s in shoin3 in hichay poetry 3ies a han/ to the reali8ation of the i/eal city of Ma3nesia 6o be3in ith4 in !!2 Plato /eclares that the le3islator shoul/ /iscuss an/reise the las freAuently until they take a per+anent an/ un/isputable for+. %n ":5he says that the las of states ou3ht to be the +o/els of ritin3 because a rittenfor+ it turns to be i++utable. 6hat is4 the le3islation4 surely4 ill take a ritten for+or een +ore4 as a//af says ('9# Plato “inten/s the las the+seles to be put intoerse an/ perfor+e/ as son3s” as it happene/ in the theocratic state of B3ypt4 hereso+e -o/Cinspire/ +an use/ to take the responsibility of laC+akin3 like they erereli3ious hy+ns (95!#. $oeer4 one the one han/ so+ebo/y oul/ ar3ue that the/eal of +akin3 las is not an atte+pt of optin3 the +ost etraor/inary or/ tosAuee8e it in the hea+eters so as to i+press the au/ience. <n the contrary4 challen3efor the le3islator is ho to articulate rules an/ pre+ises in that ay4 so as to see+strict an/ ri3ht in or/er to earn the respect of the people. <n the other han/4 history proes the opposite, to riters of /ifferent eras4 )elian an/ *trabo4 infor+ us thatthere as a tribe calle/ “Dretan”4 hich as teachin3 the chil/ren ho ere 3oin3 to be citi8ens the las ith a +usical aco+pani+ent so that they receie pleasure fro+the +usic an/ “/i3est” +ore easily the +eanin3 of the las. %n a si+ilar +anner4 thesecon/Ccentury 7D historian Polybius tells us in his  'is%ories ('.2."# about)rca/iathe boys4 ho fro+ their earliest years are accusto+e/ to sin3 the hy+ns an/ paeans accor/in3 to la. Presu+ably4 the +ost notable ea+ple is *olon. $isehortatie ele3iac poetry ai+e/ to help )thenians +e+ori8e an/ trans+it the+.Plutarch hol/s that hen *olon co+pose/ the poe+ (alais  4 /is3uise/ hi+self as aheral/ an/ recite/ his poe+ in the a3ora before an au/ience su++one/ for an  Pliaki 5 occasion. 7y this ay4 he succee/e/ in sin3in3 his political preachin3.( a//af '!C"#.)s a result4 the ea+ples /e+onstrate the hi3h contribution of poetry on the+aintenance of the le3islation an/ the help for +e+ori8ation. 6o +ake an analo3y inour a3e4 e coul/ take into consi/eration erse 3ra++ar rules hich eerybo/y hasco+e across in stu/ent 3ra++ar han/books. %n 7ook  Plato re/uces the alue of poets’ ork as he presents the+ to be possesse/ by /iine +a/ness hen they sit /on on the tripo/ of the Muses an/ ask for /iine inspiration. For4 poet beco+es a +ere i+itator an/ +ay says all sorts of opposite thin3s4 hich the 3o/ entails. <n the contrary4 for Plato4 the le3islator truly/oes a +ore honorable ork than the poet since he proi/es the people ithle3islation hich /eries fro+ /iine reason. $o successful is this co+parison4 fro+hich the ealuation of le3islators as a hi3her estee+e/ ork arises ? <n the 3roun/s that both le3islator an/ poet use an art *%ec&ne #4 it +eans thatthey both utili8e their skills4 their eperience an/ 3enerally their +in/ *nous #. Eorespecifically4 le3islator utili8es a %ec&ne of persua/in3 people to abi/e the la4 hichco+es fro+ /ifferent chances or necessity an/ critical analysis of le3islatie/ocu+ents 3ien by the prosecutors. %n this point4 le3islator is eAual ith the poetsince the latter is able to a+use the people an/ conince the+ to epress the opinion an/ follo the para/i3+ that their son3s preach (a//af '!#. Moreoer4 both the le3islator an/ the poet share /iine poer. <n the one han/ le3islator is 3ui/e/ by his nous 4 hich has/iine ori3ins an/ ren/ers the le3islator the +ost appropriate in/ii/ual to +akestate’s le3islation. <n the other han/4 the conte+porary professional poets are inspire/
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