The Analogy of the Soul and the City in Plato's Republic
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The model of the ideal society describing in Plato’s Republic was used in many masterpieces of a world literature. The Republic is one of the most famous writings of Plato. His description of the ideal republic is topical today. He wrote about the justice, theory of universals, and the dialectical forms of government. Plato tried to resolve the problems of the society.
According to Plato, the soul consists of three parts. They are: spirit, reason, and appetite. Every part of the soul has the own virtue. Courage is the virtue of spirit, wisdom is the virtue of reason, and temperance is the virtue of appetite. Plato believed that the correct balance between these three parts can bring justice and goodness in a person’s life.
Also in his masterpiece, Plato divides society into three parts: philosophers and rulers are in the first part, soldiers are in the second part, artisans and workers are in the third part.
According to the author’s opinion, comfort, physical satisfaction, and desires are included in the appetitive part of the soul. Workers and artisans are in this category. It is the lower class of the society. This class must practice self-restraint and moderation.
The spirited part of the soul exists on winning, challenge, victory, where there is a source of action. This category includes soldiers. Courage manages the soldier, who controls the lower class of the society. It helps the appetitive part of the soul to exhibit self-restraint and moderation. But envy and anger are the vices of this part of the soul.
The last part of the soul is reason. It is the most important element of the soul, because it is in charge of the other two parts of the soul. In this category are rulers and philosophers, because they look ahead, analyze, and decide what is best for the society. Due to the rational part of the soul, the spirited part of the soul controls the appetitive part of the soul. According to Plato, this is the best and the only way to form the ideal society with harmony and balance inside.
I agree that someone must lead people, but it is not mean that the society will be happy. In history, there are a lot of examples of cruel and dishonest governing of the republic, when rulers used the soldiers for their own ambitions, not caring for the needs and interests of the people. Now the democracy is dominant in the world and retains ultimate control. However, Plato believed that too much freedom creates a tyranny. Plato gave very useful ideas how to create the ideal society. I think that Plato’s Republic is a good guide for everybody who wants to broaden the knowledge about the society and the forms of government.