Plato looks only at the negative effects that art can have, rather than the positive effects. In Book II, Plato focuses on fictitious stories told to children while their growing up. Plat’s first plan is to “create a censorship of the writers fiction” (Plato 13). The job of these people will be to pick which stories are “good “and which stories are “bad”. For some people, books like Harry Potter are good and for others it is bad. The point is that one person’s definition of one thing might be the antithesis of another person’s definition. The censorship of writers can be both useful and not useful.
The censorship of writers can be useful, because it might keep certain arts out of the child’s hand. It could be not useful because, the parent will make the ultimate decision if the child will hear or read the story. The next point is what makes the people chosen qualified to select what the children should hear, or not. Once again, it brings up the point of people having their own definition Of good and bad. In society today, there are ratings to television shows and movies. Some are not rated for children but in the end the parent makes the decision on what the child is allowed to watch.
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So instead of having a censorship committee, he should educate the parents more. Plato then goes to talk about the effects of letting children hear tales by saying “and shall we just carelessly allow children to hear any causal tales which may be devised by causal persons, and to receive into their minds ideas for the most part the very opposite of those which we should wish them to have when they grow up” (Plato 13). This shows how Plato only looks the negative effects of art. The positive about having villains in art is they give the children an example of what not to be.
Also having villains in art it allows the children to be able to recognize what is bad, and who are bad people. For example, in Little Red Riding Hood, it teaches a child lessons such as do not talk to strangers, and listen to the parents. It also shows children the consequences for not listening to their parents. In Book Ill, Plato focuses on imitation. Plato goes on to talk about how after imitating for so long it becomes natural for the person ” did you ever observe how imitations, beginning in early youth and continued far into life, at the length grow in habits and become a second nature affecting the body, voice, ND mind” (Plato 15).
It can be argued that just because you imitate something does not mean that is who the person is. For example, there are plenty of actors who have been acting their whole life, who do not take the roles portrayed the home. Meaning that the roles that the person play in films is not the role they play in their everyday life. Plato then goes to talk about the roles that a person should imitate “when he comes to a character which is unworthy of him,[then] he will not make a study of that’ (Plato 16). Plato feels that a good person should imitate roles that are only good in nature.
Once again Plato fails to realize how a person imitating something bad could have a positive effect on the people. Imitating can have positive effects on society by allowing them to see what is not good for a society. In some cases, the only way to show what something is to imitate it, because it is no longer around. For example, slavery is no longer around, so you most likely cannot find a slave, so you have to imitate it. The topic Plato touches on is having a person do only one job when he says, “we shall find a shoemaker to be a shoe maker and no a pilot also” (Plato 17).
Plato fails to realize that the person may not be imitating but may in fact be able to do more than one things well. This goes back to “one man can only do on thing well and not many’ (Plato 14). Throughout this book, Plato only looks at person doing more than one thing as imitating, and not as being who they really are. In Book IV, Plato focuses on how new music affects the state. Plato wants music to stay the way it has always has been, because Plato fears that when new music comes about the laws of the state changes with it “when the modes of music changes, the monumental laws of the state always change with them” (Plato 18).
What Plato means is that when new things come about people began to rebel against society, and do what they want. Society does change, but it does not become corrupt. Society changes because new things become accepted such as new styles, slang and etcetera. According to Merriam-Webster dictionary, corrupt means to change from good to bad in morals, manners, or actions. Society was never good in the beginning for it to become corrupt because of music. Not everyone in society started off having good morals, manners, or action.
No one is perfect all the time, and neither is a society. In a society there will always be people who break the laws. Just because music changes does not mean society completely changes with it. In today’s society with the hip hop era there is a lot of things that are done now that would not have been done twenty years ago. For example rappers today call females derogatory names, and now a lot of females are excepting to be called those names. While some females are proud to be called those names, other not so much, and they stand up for what they believe in.
Plato then goes to say that it is the guardian’s responsibility to pick what is right for the chi lid to hear “our guardians malls lay the foundations Of their fortress in music” (Plato 18). This goes back to book II, were the parent Will pick what they feel IS right for the child to hear. The parents should be educated on the effects that the music can have on the child. Even though music can have no direct effect on one child’s life, it could have an indirect effect. It could have an indirect effect, because of the people who have the direct effect pass it on.
While the music an have no direct effect on a child, Plato feels that the child should still be taught on what can be sung at home, and what can be sung at church. For example it is reasonable to sing a gospel song in church, but not a song by Lady Gaga, because it is not appropriate for church. Plato focuses on how new music changes society in negative way, but never says how new music can help society. New music can help society by bringing about new ideas, bringing people together, and it gives the people a sense of expression. According to mattered. Com, music can help with blood pressure, the heart, and memory.
So music is not just something for the soul, but it also helps heal the body. In Book X, Plato focuses on poets and poetry. Plato feels that poetry is an imitation of the soul; he feels that it portrays a bad part of the soul. Plato argues that the soul is quiet and stable. By quiet and stable Plato means that the souls have no emotion, and should not act angry, or any other way that can be seen as bad by saying” and he is also like him in being concerned with an inferior part of the soul” (Plato 29). For some people poetry is an outlet for people to express themselves, and get their angry and frustrations out.
Plato also feels that it poet write about things that they have no knowledge of “the poet is like a painter who, as we have already observed, will make likeness of a cobbler though he understands nothing of cobbling; and his pictures is good enough for those who know no more than he does, and judge only by colors and figures” (Plato 24). No one can judge whether a person’s poetry is true or not, most likely no one knows the person personally to make that judgment. It might be things that the poet writes about that happened years ago. He feels that poets cannot be factual educators because they do not now what is good.
Poetry is an art that is supposed to felt, and it supposed to bring out the bad part of the soul, because it is the part that needs to be expressed. So Plat’s argument about the soul being stable and quiet is false, because nobody is happy all the time. Plato believes that once one gets in touch with their angry side, one will start to become an angry person, and that poetry will not be entertainment, but the way some people handle situations in life. Plato is so convinced that poetry is so bad for the soul, he never talks about how it could heal the soul.
Poetry can help heal the soul by letting out built up emotions. Plato banishes poetry for the republic because they are unwholesome and dangerous. In the end, Plato has set rules and banned the people and arts that he does not want for his republic. Plat’s republic will be very simple, and will not allow hardly any new art. No new music will be allowed for the fear that it will corrupt the state. No poetry will be allowed for the fear of letting people getting in touch will their emotional side. Overall, Plato fails to do what he planned on doing, and that is improving society.