Plato's Republic Suggested Essay Topics


Suggested Essay Topics

Book 1
1. Using “natural” as the definition of just, construct an argument in favor of the rule of the tyrant, drawing upon Thrasymachus’ arguments.

2. Which of the definitions of justice presented in this section do you find most compelling? Explain them, comparing their relative advantages and disadvantages.

Book 2
1. What argument supports Socrates’ desire for a separate class of soldiers? Why might this be a bad idea? What other reasons might support it?

2. What elements of a child’s life are most influential on its character? Is Socrates right about the need to control the type of stories a child hears?

Book 3
1. Contrast Socrates’ description of the Iliad’s influence on Athenian values with the values he wishes to teach. Which values does he not discuss that are important to a good state? Why are these values important?

2. Why does Socrates criticize an excess of lawsuits? How does legal activity reflect the health of the state, in your opinion?

Book 4
1. Explain Socrates’ justification of the limitation of the activities of the members of the state. How does this relate to justice in the individual? Does this argument work in both cases?

2. Contrast the function of happiness in a free-market society with that of happiness in the city in speech. Does happiness have a value in the state, and, if so, what is it?...

(The entire section is 477 words.)