State the main  idea in  "Poetry and Unreality" by Plato.

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Ashley Kannan eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The main argument in Plato's assertion is that poets conceal the reality that the philosopher is trying to expose.  In their desire to want to be appreciated by the masses, the poet essentially that what they are exploring is truth.  It is within this element that a critical contention of Plato emerges.  Not everyone is able to appreciate or fully comprehend the nature of truth, the essence of being.  The poet, for Plato, pretends and does a disservice to the quest in trying to allow others to see what this truth is and through their work, they actually do more harm than good because the poet seeks public adulation, which is fickle and can be contingent on many variables.  This, for Plato, is "unreal" because it does not reveal the form, the very essence of what truth is.  In Plato's mind, the poet's desire to be embraced by others for their work and for public acknowledgement creates a realm that is dependent on popularity and public appreciation, thereby contributing to its "unreal" nature.