Essay on poetry and unreality by Plato.

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Ashley Kannan eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The previous post is very strong.  I would also suggest that composing an essay on this topic with the word length given is going to be very difficult.  It is a challenge because Plato's views and perceptions of the poets and their ability to mask reality is difficult.  I think that you would want to make sure that there is careful consideration given to the idea that the philosopher, in Plato's mind, is on a singular quest and search for truth.  Plato sees the poet as in search of an audience's admiration.  These fundamental starting points represents a significant reason why the former is going to be able to uncover the reality of what consciousness is and be able to achieve the form, or the highest good.  The latter is going to be consistently clouded and shrouded by what others wish and the desire to be appreciated by an audience, making the quest for truth a difficult endeavor.  I think that being able to point out the difference versus individual quests and the audience component would be important in this essay.

kc4u | Student

This has to do with Plato's decision to banish all the poets and creative artists from his ideal republic, as stated in his book The Republic. The reason for this is Plato's disbelief in the truth value of poetry. His is a philosophical critique of poetry. It is also an ironic acknowledgement of its power. Plato's basic philosophical position about the real is that it is the idea and not the object, which is real. The noumenal is the real and not the phenomenal. Thus with every work of poetic or artistic representation, the real is pushed off further. Thus, an artwork that represents the object, a copy of the real, is twice away from reality. It is at the third remove from the real. Therefore, the poetic craft is grounded in unreality. Plato's example is that of the bed. The real bed is the idea of the bed, as it exists in the mind of God and what the painter paints is a copy of the copy i.e. the bed he sees in the world of objects around him.