Thursday, July 13, 2006

According to Kenneth Burke’s 5 elements of dramatism, in Book I of The Republic, the act would be the attempt/debate to find the meanings of justice and injustice. The scene takes place at Cephalus’ house. The agents are mainly Socrates and Thrasymachus. The agency would be their persuasion methods of convincing each other what the meanings of justice and injustice are; for example, for Socrates is to ask questions. Asking questions is Socrates’ method to make Thrasymachus think about his preconceived notion and doubt them, and eventually, he has to give in to Socrates. Other persuasion methods include the use of analogy in the dialogue, such as comparing justice and injustice to physicians, sailors and captains, and etc. The purpose for Socrates is to find the true meaning of justice through discussions with Thrasymachus. The purpose for Thrasymachus, however, is to defeat Socrates by proving him wrong, since he believes that Socrates’ true underlying intention is to win the discussion. Needless to say he was the one who gets defeated at the end of the act. By the end of Book I, they agreed on the terms that “just is happy, and the unjust is miserable”, while “happiness and not misery is profitable” therefore, “injustice can never be more profitable than justice”. (p29) Lastly, the idea of a utopian society is where there are no poverty, no war, no misery, and everyone gets along and lives happily - everything is perfect. The scene in The Republic would represent somewhat of a utopian society because all the characters are somewhat wealthy, well-educated, and enjoying a good life. Although there are small quarrels or debates over some ideas, there seems to be no poverty and misery so far.

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