Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Socravid and Thrasymacholiath

You know, since I don't think anyone else has I guess I'll take a shot at analyzing this dialogue with Burke's pentad theory, although I probably don't even understand it correctly.

Imagine two circular-shaped pentads, one for each person in the debate, which overlap in a venn-diagramic fashion. We can say that in the overlapping region we can place the scene (Cephalus' residence) and, for the sake of simplicity, the act (the conversation), although the acts for each person were actually quite different.

As an agent, Thrasymachus portrays himself as rude, intentionally difficult, and overly prideful (AKA a jerk), immediately persuading the audience to be reluctant to accept his views. His agency ranged from direct insults to childish avoidance of the questions ("[He]...will answer 'Very good,' as they say to story-telling old women, and will nod 'Yes' and 'No.'") to attempting to walk away from the discussion after he made a point, which are hardly effective agencies for mature and rational discourse. How he comes across and the means he uses in the dialogue led me, and probably the actual audience, to believe that his purpose was not to innocently and purely investigate the truth of justice, but more to silence Socrates by any means necessary, even illogical ones.

Socrates, on the other hand, remains civil, polite, and mature throughout the debate which caused the audience to view him as the protagonistic agent of the debate. His agency was characterized by his logical proofs and clear line of reasoning, combined with an emotional detachment to the statements as well. These factors made it seem as though his only purpose was to seek the truth in regards to the meaning of justice, and not to debate merely to elevate himself or his own thoughts.

My conclusion? Assymachus got "soc"ked in the face. As Lil' Flip says: Game over.


Blogger Peterpeterhaha said...

wow that is a very interersting way of looking at the pentad. I never thought of it that way. venn diagram comparison is very cool.

8:37 AM  

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