Plato's Republic Book 3 Questions and Answers

Plato

Book 3 Questions and Answers

Study Questions
1. Why would Socrates censor the passage in the Iliad that refers to a soul “bewailing his fate, leaving manliness and the bloom of youth”?

2. What does Socrates predict will be the result of a citizen lying?

3. What sort of dramatic role will the Guardians be permitted to play?

4. Why does Socrates say eliminating the use of musical
instruments helps improve the state?

5. What can rythm and harmony do for the mind when
properly absorbed?

6. What profession grows when the citizens of a city are poorly disciplined?

7. How does an obsession with one’s health interfere with the practice of philosophy?

8. What two things must a man bring into harmony within
himself?

9. What is the purpose of the “noble lie”?

10. Why must the Guardians not be allowed private property?

Answers
1. This passage from the Iliad would teach children to fear death, interfering with their ability to be good warriors.

2. If anyone in the state besides the rulers tells lies, he will be punished for introducing a practice that will likely ruin the state.

3. The Guardians will be allowed to play the role of men of good characters, especially when they act “steadily and prudently” (396d).

4. Socrates says that eliminating superfluous musical instruments will help rid the state of luxury.

5. Rythm and harmony teach the mind grace and beauty.

6. A lack of discipline within the city results in an increase in lawyers (and/or judges).

7. When one is always worried about one’s health, the small changes one notices will be seen as the results of one’s
philosophical studies.

8. A man must seek to harmonize his spirited (or energetic) side with his philosophic side.

9. The purpose of the “noble lie” is to unify the members of society.

10. The Guardians must not be allowed private property for fear it will turn them into tyrants by distracting them from focusing on the good of the state.