SOCRATES - ADEIMANTUS
LAST of all comes the tyrannical
man; about whom we have once
more to ask,
how is he formed out of the democratical?
and how does he live,
in happiness or in misery?
Yes, he said, he is the only
There is, however, I said, a
previous question which remains
I do not think that we have
adequately determined the nature
and number of the appetites,
and until this is accomplished
the enquiry will always be confused.
Well, he said, it is not too
late to supply the omission.
Very true, I said; and observe
the point which I want to understand:
Certain of the unnecessary pleasures
and appetites I conceive
to be unlawful; every one appears
to have them, but in some persons
they are controlled by the laws
and by reason, and the better
desires prevail over them-either
they are wholly banished or they
become few and weak; while in
the case of others they are stronger,
and there are more of them.
Which appetites do you mean?
I mean those which are awake
when the reasoning and human
power is asleep; then the wild
beast within us, gorged with
or drink, starts up and having
shaken off sleep, goes forth
satisfy his desires; and there
is no conceivable folly or crime--
not excepting incest or any other
unnatural union, or parricide,
or the eating of forbidden food--which
at such a time, when he has
parted company with all shame
and sense, a man may not be ready
Most true, he said.
But when a man's pulse is healthy
and temperate, and when before
going to sleep he has awakened
his rational powers, and fed
on noble thoughts and enquiries,
collecting himself in meditation;
after having first indulged his
appetites neither too much nor
too little, but just enough to
lay them to sleep, and prevent
them and their enjoyments and
pains from interfering with the
higher principle--which he leaves
in the solitude of pure abstraction,
free to contemplate and aspire
to the knowledge of the unknown,
whether in past, present, or
future: when again he has allayed
the passionate element, if he
has a quarrel against any one--
I say, when, after pacifying
the two irrational principles,
he rouses up
the third, which is reason, before
he takes his rest, then, as you
he attains truth most nearly,
and is least likely to be the
of fantastic and lawless visions.
I quite agree.
In saying this I have been running
into a digression; but the point
which I desire to note is that
in all of us, even in good men,
there is a lawless wild-beast
nature, which peers out in sleep.
Pray, consider whether I am right,
and you agree with me.
Yes, I agree.
And now remember the character
which we attributed to the democratic
He was supposed from his youth
upwards to have been trained
a miserly parent, who encouraged
the saving appetites in him,
but discountenanced the unnecessary,
which aim only at amusement
And then he got into the company
of a more refined, licentious
of people, and taking to all
their wanton ways rushed into
extreme from an abhorrence of
his father's meanness. At last,
being a better man than his corruptors,
he was drawn in both directions
until he halted midway and led
a life, not of vulgar and slavish
but of what he deemed moderate
indulgence in various pleasures.
After this manner the democrat
was generated out of the oligarch?
Yes, he said; that was our view
of him, and is so still.
And now, I said, years will
have passed away, and you must
this man, such as he is, to have
a son, who is brought up in his
I can imagine him.
Then you must further imagine
the same thing to happen to the
which has already happened to
the father:--he is drawn into
lawless life, which by his seducers
is termed perfect liberty;
and his father and friends take
part with his moderate desires,
and the opposite party assist
the opposite ones. As soon as
magicians and tyrant-makers find
that they are losing their hold
they contrive to implant in him
a master passion, to be lord
his idle and spendthrift lusts--a
sort of monstrous winged drone--
that is the only image which
will adequately describe him.
Yes, he said, that is the only
adequate image of him.
And when his other lusts, amid
clouds of incense and perfumes
and garlands and wines, and all
the pleasures of a dissolute
now let loose, come buzzing around
him, nourishing to the utmost
the sting of desire which they
implant in his drone-like nature,
then at last this lord of the
soul, having Madness for the
of his guard, breaks out into
a frenzy: and if he finds in
any good opinions or appetites
in process of formation, and
is in him any sense of shame
remaining, to these better principles
puts an end, and casts them forth
until he has purged away temperance
and brought in madness to the
Yes, he said, that is the way
in which the tyrannical man is
And is not this the reason why
of old love has been called a
I should not wonder.
Further, I said, has not a drunken
man also the spirit of a tyrant?
And you know that a man who
is deranged and not right in
will fancy that he is able to
rule, not only over men, but
That he will.
And the tyrannical man in the
true sense of the word comes
into being when, either under
the influence of nature, or habit,
or both, he becomes drunken,
lustful, passionate? O my friend,
is not that so?
Such is the man and such is
his origin. And next, how does
Suppose, as people facetiously
say, you were to tell me.
I imagine, I said, at the next
step in his progress, that there
will be feasts and carousals
and revellings and courtezans,
and all that sort of thing; Love
is the lord of the house within
and orders all the concerns of
That is certain.
Yes; and every day and every
night desires grow up many and
and their demands are many.
They are indeed, he said.
His revenues, if he has any,
are soon spent.
Then comes debt and the cutting
down of his property.
When he has nothing left, must
not his desires, crowding in
like young ravens, be crying
aloud for food; and he, goaded
on by them,
and especially by love himself,
who is in a manner the captain
of them, is in a frenzy, and
would fain discover whom he can
or despoil of his property, in
order that he may gratify them?
Yes, that is sure to be the
He must have money, no matter
how, if he is to escape horrid
And as in himself there was
a succession of pleasures, and
got the better of the old and
took away their rights, so he
younger will claim to have more
than his father and his mother,
and if he has spent his own share
of the property, he will take
a slice of theirs.
No doubt he will.
And if his parents will not
give way, then he will try first
of all to cheat and deceive them.
And if he fails, then he will
use force and plunder them.
And if the old man and woman
fight for their own, what then,
Will the creature feel any compunction
at tyrannizing over them?
Nay, he said, I should not feel
at all comfortable about his
But, O heavens! Adeimantus,
on account of some newfangled
of a harlot, who is anything
but a necessary connection, can
believe that he would strike
the mother who is his ancient
and necessary to his very existence,
and would place her under
the authority of the other, when
she is brought under the same
with her; or that, under like
circumstances, he would do the
to his withered old father, first
and most indispensable of friends,
for the sake of some newly found
blooming youth who is the reverse
Yes, indeed, he said; I believe
that he would.
Truly, then, I said, a tyrannical
son is a blessing to his father
He is indeed, he replied.
He first takes their property,
and when that falls, and pleasures
are beginning to swarm in the
hive of his soul, then he breaks
into a house, or steals the garments
of some nightly wayfarer;
next he proceeds to clear a temple.
Meanwhile the old opinions
which he had when a child, and
which gave judgment about good
are overthrown by those others
which have just been emancipated,
and are now the bodyguard of
love and share his empire.
These in his democratic days,
when he was still subject to
and to his father, were only
let loose in the dreams of sleep.
But now that he is under the
dominion of love, he becomes
and in waking reality what he
was then very rarely and in a
he will commit the foulest murder,
or eat forbidden food, or be
guilty of any other horrid act.
Love is his tyrant, and lives
lordly in him and lawlessly,
and being himself a king, leads
as a tyrant leads a State, to
the performance of any reckless
by which he can maintain himself
and the rabble of his associates,
whether those whom evil communications
have brought in from without,
or those whom he himself has
allowed to break loose within
him by reason
of a similar evil nature in himself.
Have we not here a picture of
Yes, indeed, he said.
And if there are only a few
of them in the State, the rest
of the people
are well disposed, they go away
and become the bodyguard or mercenary
soldiers of some other tyrant
who may probably want them for
and if there is no war, they
stay at home and do many little
of mischief in the city.
What sort of mischief?
For example, they are the thieves,
burglars, cutpurses, footpads,
robbers of temples, man-stealers
of the community; or if they
are able to speak they turn informers,
and bear false witness,
and take bribes.
A small catalogue of evils,
even if the perpetrators of them
are few in number.
Yes, I said; but small and great
are comparative terms,
and all these things, in the
misery and evil which they inflict
upon a State, do not come within
a thousand miles of the tyrant;
when this noxious class and their
followers grow numerous and become
conscious of their strength,
assisted by the infatuation of
they choose from among themselves
the one who has most of the tyrant
in his own soul, and him they
create their tyrant.
Yes, he said, and he will be
the most fit to be a tyrant.
If the people yield, well and
good; but if they resist him,
as he began by beating his own
father and mother, so now, if
the power, he beats them, and
will keep his dear old fatherland
or motherland, as the Cretans
say, in subjection to his young
retainers whom he has introduced
to be their rulers and masters.
This is the end of his passions
When such men are only private
individuals and before they get
this is their character; they
associate entirely with their
flatterers or ready tools; or
if they want anything from anybody,
they in their turn are equally
ready to bow down before them:
they profess every sort of affection
for them; but when they have
their point they know them no
They are always either the masters
or servants and never the friends
of anybody; the tyrant never
tastes of true freedom or friendship.
And may we not rightly call
such men treacherous?
Also they are utterly unjust,
if we were right in our notion
Yes, he said, and we were perfectly
Let us then sum up in a word,
I said, the character of the
he is the waking reality of what
And this is he who being by
nature most of a tyrant bears
and the longer he lives the more
of a tyrant he becomes.
SOCRATES - GLAUCON
That is certain, said Glaucon,
taking his turn to answer.
And will not he who has been
shown to be the wickedest, be
the most miserable? and he who
has tyrannized longest and most,
most continually and truly miserable;
although this may not be
the opinion of men in general?
Yes, he said, inevitably.
And must not the tyrannical
man be like the tyrannical, State,
democratical man like the democratical
State; and the same of the others?
And as State is to State in
virtue and happiness, so is man
in relation to man?
To be sure.
Then comparing our original
city, which was under a king,
and the city which is under a
tyrant, how do they stand as
They are the opposite extremes,
he said, for one is the very
and the other is the very worst.
There can be no mistake, I said,
as to which is which, and therefore
I will at once enquire whether
you would arrive at a similar
about their relative happiness
and misery. And here we must
ourselves to be panic-stricken
at the apparition of the tyrant,
who is only a unit and may perhaps
have a few retainers about him;
but let us go as we ought into
every corner of the city and
all about, and then we will give
A fair invitation, he replied;
and I see, as every one must,
that a tyranny is the wretchedest
form of government, and the rule
of a king the happiest.
And in estimating the men too,
may I not fairly make a like
that I should have a judge whose
mind can enter into and see through
human nature? He must not be
like a child who looks at the
and is dazzled at the pompous
aspect which the tyrannical nature
assumes to the beholder, but
let him be one who has a clear
May I suppose that the judgment
is given in the hearing of us
by one who is able to judge,
and has dwelt in the same place
and been present at his dally
life and known him in his family
where he may be seen stripped
of his tragedy attire, and again
in the hour of public danger--he
shall tell us about the happiness
and misery of the tyrant when
compared with other men?
That again, he said, is a very
Shall I assume that we ourselves
are able and experienced judges
and have before now met with
such a person? We shall then
some one who will answer our
By all means.
Let me ask you not to forget
the parallel of the individual
and the State;
bearing this in mind, and glancing
in turn from one to the other
of them, will you tell me their
What do you mean? he asked.
Beginning with the State, I
replied, would you say that a
which is governed by a tyrant
is free or enslaved?
No city, he said, can be more
And yet, as you see, there are
freemen as well as masters in
Yes, he said, I see that there
are--a few; but the people,
speaking generally, and the best
of them, are miserably degraded
Then if the man is like the
State, I said, must not the same
prevail? his soul is full of
meanness and vulgarity--the best
elements in him are enslaved;
and there is a small ruling part,
which is also the worst and maddest.
And would you say that the soul
of such an one is the soul of
or of a slave?
He has the soul of a slave,
in my opinion.
And the State which is enslaved
under a tyrant is utterly incapable
of acting voluntarily?
And also the soul which is under
a tyrant (I am speaking of the
taken as a whole) is least capable
of doing what she desires;
there is a gadfly which goads
her, and she is full of trouble
And is the city which is under
a tyrant rich or poor?
And the tyrannical soul must
be always poor and insatiable?
And must not such a State and
such a man be always full of
Is there any State in which
you will find more of lamentation
and sorrow and groaning and pain?
And is there any man in whom
you will find more of this sort
than in the tyrannical man, who
is in a fury of passions and
Reflecting upon these and similar
evils, you held the tyrannical
State to be the most miserable
And I was right, he said.
Certainly, I said. And when
you see the same evils in the
what do you say of him?
I say that he is by far the
most miserable of all men.
There, I said, I think that
you are beginning to go wrong.
What do you mean?
I do not think that he has as
yet reached the utmost extreme
Then who is more miserable?
One of whom I am about to speak.
Who is that?
He who is of a tyrannical nature,
and instead of leading a private
has been cursed with the further
misfortune of being a public
From what has been said, I gather
that you are right.
Yes, I replied, but in this
high argument you should be a
more certain, and should not
conjecture only; for of all questions,
this respecting good and evil
is the greatest.
Very true, he said.
Let me then offer you an illustration,
which may, I think,
throw a light upon this subject.
What is your illustration?
The case of rich individuals
in cities who possess many slaves:
from them you may form an idea
of the tyrant's condition,
for they both have slaves; the
only difference is that he has
Yes, that is the difference.
You know that they live securely
and have nothing to apprehend
from their servants?
What should they fear?
Nothing. But do you observe
the reason of this?
Yes; the reason is, that the
whole city is leagued together
for the protection of each individual.
Very true, I said. But imagine
one of these owners, the master
say of some fifty slaves, together
with his family and property
and slaves, carried off by a
god into the wilderness, where
are no freemen to help him--will
he not be in an agony of fear
he and his wife and children
should be put to death by his
Yes, he said, he will be in
the utmost fear.
The time has arrived when he
will be compelled to flatter
his slaves, and make many promises
to them of freedom and other
much against his will--he will
have to cajole his own servants.
Yes, he said, that will be the
only way of saving himself.
And suppose the same god, who
carried him away, to surround
neighbours who will not suffer
one man to be the master of another,
and who, if they could catch
the offender, would take his
His case will be still worse,
if you suppose him to be everywhere
surrounded and watched by enemies.
And is not this the sort of
prison in which the tyrant will
he who being by nature such as
we have described, is full of
of fears and lusts? His soul
is dainty and greedy, and yet
of all men in the city, he is
never allowed to go on a journey,
or to see the things which other
freemen desire to see, but he
lives in his hole like a woman
hidden in the house, and is jealous
of any other citizen who goes
into foreign parts and sees anything
Very true, he said.
And amid evils such as these
will not he who is ill-governed
in his own person--the tyrannical
man, I mean--whom you
just now decided to be the most
miserable of all--will not he
be yet more miserable when, instead
of leading a private life,
he is constrained by fortune
to be a public tyrant?
He has to be master of others
when he is not master of himself:
he is like a diseased or paralytic
man who is compelled to pass
his life, not in retirement,
but fighting and combating with
Yes, he said, the similitude
is most exact.
Is not his case utterly miserable?
and does not the actual tyrant
lead a worse life than he whose
life you determined to be the
He who is the real tyrant, whatever
men may think, is the real slave,
and is obliged to practise the
greatest adulation and servility,
and to be the flatterer of the
vilest of mankind. He has desires
which he is utterly unable to
satisfy, and has more wants than
and is truly poor, if you know
how to inspect the whole soul
all his life long he is beset
with fear and is full of convulsions,
and distractions, even as the
State which he resembles:
and surely the resemblance holds?
Very true, he said.
Moreover, as we were saying
before, he grows worse from having
he becomes and is of necessity
more jealous, more faithless,
more unjust, more friendless,
more impious, than he was at
he is the purveyor and cherisher
of every sort of vice, and the
is that he is supremely miserable,
and that he makes everybody else
as miserable as himself.
No man of any sense will dispute
Come then, I said, and as the
general umpire in theatrical
contests proclaims the result,
do you also decide who in your
opinion is first in the scale
of happiness, and who second,
and in what order the others
follow: there are five of them
they are the royal, timocratical,
oligarchical, democratical, tyrannical.
The decision will be easily
given, he replied; they shall
coming on the stage, and I must
judge them in the order in which
they enter, by the criterion
of virtue and vice, happiness
Need we hire a herald, or shall
I announce, that the son of Ariston
(the best) has decided that the
best and justest is also the
and that this is he who is the
most royal man and king over
and that the worst and most unjust
man is also the most miserable,
and that this is he who being
the greatest tyrant of himself
is also the
greatest tyrant of his State?
Make the proclamation yourself,
And shall I add, `whether seen
or unseen by gods and men'?
Let the words be added.
Then this, I said, will be our
first proof; and there is another,
which may also have some weight.
What is that?
The second proof is derived
from the nature of the soul:
seeing that the individual soul,
like the State, has been
divided by us into three principles,
the division may, I think,
furnish a new demonstration.
Of what nature?
It seems to me that to these
three principles three pleasures
also three desires and governing
How do you mean? he said.
There is one principle with
which, as we were saying, a man
another with which he is angry;
the third, having many forms,
has no special name, but is denoted
by the general term appetitive,
from the extraordinary strength
and vehemence of the desires
and drinking and the other sensual
appetites which are the main
elements of it; also money-loving,
because such desires are generally
satisfied by the help of money.
That is true, he said.
If we were to say that the loves
and pleasures of this third part
were concerned with gain, we
should then be able to fall back
on a single notion; and might
truly and intelligibly describe
this part of the soul as loving
gain or money.
I agree with you.
Again, is not the passionate
element wholly set on ruling
and conquering and getting fame?
Suppose we call it the contentious
or ambitious--would the term
On the other hand, every one
sees that the principle of knowledge
is wholly directed to the truth,
and cares less than either
of the others for gain or fame.
`Lover of wisdom,' `lover of
knowledge,' are titles which
may fitly apply to that part
of the soul?
One principle prevails in the
souls of one class of men,
another in others, as may happen?
Then we may begin by assuming
that there are three classes
lovers of wisdom, lovers of honour,
lovers of gain?
And there are three kinds of
pleasure, which are their several
Now, if you examine the three
classes of men, and ask of them
in turn which of their lives
is pleasantest, each will be
praising his own and depreciating
that of others: the money-maker
will contrast the vanity of honour
or of learning if they bring
no money with the solid advantages
of gold and silver?
True, he said.
And the lover of honour--what
will be his opinion? Will he
that the pleasure of riches is
vulgar, while the pleasure of
if it brings no distinction,
is all smoke and nonsense to
And are we to suppose, I said,
that the philosopher sets any
other pleasures in comparison
with the pleasure of knowing
and in that pursuit abiding,
ever learning, not so far indeed
from the heaven
of pleasure? Does he not call
the other pleasures necessary,
idea that if there were no necessity
for them, he would rather not
There can be no doubt of that,
Since, then, the pleasures of
each class and the life of each
in dispute, and the question
is not which life is more or
or better or worse, but which
is the more pleasant or painless--
how shall we know who speaks
I cannot myself tell, he said.
Well, but what ought to be the
criterion? Is any better than
experience and wisdom and reason?
There cannot be a better, he
Then, I said, reflect. Of the
three individuals, which has
the greatest experience of all
the pleasures which we enumerated?
Has the lover of gain, in learning
the nature of essential truth,
greater experience of the pleasure
of knowledge than the philosopher
of the pleasure of gain?
The philosopher, he replied,
has greatly the advantage; for
of necessity always known the
taste of the other pleasures
childhood upwards: but the lover
of gain in all his experience
not of necessity tasted--or,
I should rather say, even had
could hardly have tasted--the
sweetness of learning and knowing
Then the lover of wisdom has
a great advantage over the lover
for he has a double experience?
Yes, very great.
Again, has he greater experience
of the pleasures of honour,
or the lover of honour of the
pleasures of wisdom?
Nay, he said, all three are
honoured in proportion as they
their object; for the rich man
and the brave man and the wise
man alike have their crowd of
admirers, and as they all receive
honour they all have experience
of the pleasures of honour;
but the delight which is to be
found in the knowledge of true
is known to the philosopher only.
His experience, then, will enable
him to judge better than any
And he is the only one who has
wisdom as well as experience?
Further, the very faculty which
is the instrument of judgment
possessed by the covetous or
ambitious man, but only by the
Reason, with whom, as we were
saying, the decision ought to
And reasoning is peculiarly
If wealth and gain were the
criterion, then the praise or
of the lover of gain would surely
be the most trustworthy?
Or if honour or victory or courage,
in that case the judgement
of the ambitious or pugnacious
would be the truest?
But since experience and wisdom
and reason are the judges--
The only inference possible,
he replied, is that pleasures
are approved by the lover of
wisdom and reason are the truest.
And so we arrive at the result,
that the pleasure of the intelligent
part of the soul is the pleasantest
of the three, and that he of
in whom this is the ruling principle
has the pleasantest life.
Unquestionably, he said, the
wise man speaks with authority
approves of his own life.
And what does the judge affirm
to be the life which is next,
and the pleasure which is next?
Clearly that of the soldier
and lover of honour; who is nearer
to himself than the money-maker.
Last comes the lover of gain?
Very true, he said.
Twice in succession, then, has
the just man overthrown the unjust
in this conflict; and now comes
the third trial, which is
dedicated to Olympian Zeus the
saviour: a sage whispers in my
that no pleasure except that
of the wise is quite true and
all others are a shadow only;
and surely this will prove the
and most decisive of falls?
Yes, the greatest; but will
you explain yourself?
I will work out the subject
and you shall answer my questions.
Say, then, is not pleasure opposed
And there is a neutral state
which is neither pleasure nor
A state which is intermediate,
and a sort of repose of the soul
about either--that is what you
You remember what people say
when they are sick?
What do they say?
That after all nothing is pleasanter
than health. But then they
never knew this to be the greatest
of pleasures until they were
Yes, I know, he said.
And when persons are suffering
from acute pain, you must.
have heard them say that there
is nothing pleasanter than to
of their pain?
And there are many other cases
of suffering in which the mere
and cessation of pain, and not
any positive enjoyment, is extolled
by them as the greatest pleasure?
Yes, he said; at the time they
are pleased and well content
Again, when pleasure ceases,
that sort of rest or cessation
Doubtless, he said.
Then the intermediate state
of rest will be pleasure and
also be pain?
So it would seem.
But can that which is neither
I should say not.
And both pleasure and pain are
motions of the soul, are they
But that which is neither was
just now shown to be rest and
and in a mean between them?
How, then, can we be right in
supposing that the absence of
is pleasure, or that the absence
of pleasure is pain?
This then is an appearance only
and not a reality; that is tc
the rest is pleasure at the moment
and in comparison of what
is painful, and painful in comparison
of what is pleasant;
but all these representations,
when tried by the test of true
are not real but a sort of imposition?
That is the inference.
Look at the other class of pleasures
which have no antecedent pains
and you will no longer suppose,
as you perhaps may at present,
that pleasure is only the cessation
of pain, or pain of pleasure.
What are they, he said, and
where shall I find them?
There are many of them: take
as an example the pleasures,
which are very great and have
no antecedent pains; they come
in a moment,
and when they depart leave no
pain behind them.
Most true, he said.
Let us not, then, be induced
to believe that pure pleasure
is the cessation of pain, or
pain of pleasure.
Still, the more numerous and
violent pleasures which reach
through the body are generally
of this sort--they are reliefs
That is true.
And the anticipations of future
pleasures and pains are of a
Shall I give you an illustration
Let me hear.
You would allow, I said, that
there is in nature an upper and
and middle region?
And if a person were to go from
the lower to the middle region,
would he not imagine that he
is going up; and he who is standing
in the middle and sees whence
he has come, would imagine that
is already in the upper region,
if he has never seen the true
To be sure, he said; how can
he think otherwise?
But if he were taken back again
he would imagine, and truly imagine,
that he was descending?
All that would arise out of
his ignorance of the true upper
and middle and lower regions?
Then can you wonder that persons
who are inexperienced in the
as they have wrong ideas about
many other things, should also
wrong ideas about pleasure and
pain and the intermediate state;
so that when they are only being
drawn towards the painful they
feel pain and think the pain
which they experience to be real,
and in like manner, when drawn
away from pain to the neutral
or intermediate state, they firmly
believe that they have reached
the goal of satiety and pleasure;
they, not knowing pleasure,
err in contrasting pain with
the absence of pain. which is
contrasting black with grey instead
of white--can you wonder, I say,
No, indeed; I should be much
more disposed to wonder at the
Look at the matter thus:--Hunger,
thirst, and the like, are inanitions
of the bodily state?
And ignorance and folly are
inanitions of the soul?
And food and wisdom are the
corresponding satisfactions of
And is the satisfaction derived
from that which has less or from
that which has more existence
Clearly, from that which has
What classes of things have
a greater share of pure existence
your judgment--those of which
food and drink and condiments
kinds of sustenance are examples,
or the class which contains true
opinion and knowledge and mind
and all the different kinds of
Put the question in this way:--Which
has a more pure being--
that which is concerned with
the invariable, the immortal,
and the true, and is of such
a nature, and is found in such
or that which is concerned with
and found in the variable and
and is itself variable and mortal?
Far purer, he replied, is the
being of that which is concerned
with the invariable.
And does the essence of the
invariable partake of knowledge
in the same degree as of essence?
Yes, of knowledge in the same
And of truth in the same degree?
And, conversely, that which
has less of truth will also have
Then, in general, those kinds
of things which are in the service
of the body have less of truth
and essence than those which
in the service of the soul?
And has not the body itself
less of truth and essence than
What is filled with more real
existence, and actually has a
real existence, is more really
filled than that which is filled
with less real existence and
is less real?
And if there be a pleasure in
being filled with that which
according to nature, that which
is more really filled with more
real being will more really and
truly enjoy true pleasure;
whereas that which participates
in less real being will be less
truly and surely satisfied, and
will participate in an illusory
and less real pleasure?
Those then who know not wisdom
and virtue, and are always busy
gluttony and sensuality, go down
and up again as far as the mean;
and in this region they move
at random throughout life, but
never pass into the true upper
world; thither they neither look,
nor do they ever find their way,
neither are they truly filled
with true being, nor do they
taste of pure and abiding pleasure.
Like cattle, with their eyes
always looking down and their
stooping to the earth, that is,
to the dining-table, they fatten
and feed and breed, and, in their
excessive love of these delights,
they kick and butt at one another
with horns and hoofs which are
of iron; and they kill one another
by reason of their insatiable
For they fill themselves with
that which is not substantial,
and the part of themselves which
they fill is also unsubstantial
Verily, Socrates, said Glaucon,
you describe the life of the
like an oracle.
Their pleasures are mixed with
pains--how can they be otherwise?
For they are mere shadows and
pictures of the true, and are
by contrast, which exaggerates
both light and shade, and so
implant in the minds of fools
insane desires of themselves;
are fought about as Stesichorus
says that the Greeks fought about
the shadow of Helen at Troy in
ignorance of the truth.
Something of that sort must
And must not the like happen
with the spirited or passionate
element of the soul? Will not
the passionate man who carries
passion into action, be in the
like case, whether he is envious
and ambitious, or violent and
contentious, or angry and discontented,
if he be seeking to attain honour
and victory and the satisfaction
of his anger without reason or
Yes, he said, the same will
happen with the spirited element
Then may we not confidently
assert that the lovers of money
when they seek their pleasures
under the guidance and in the
of reason and knowledge, and
pursue after and win the pleasures
wisdom shows them, will also
have the truest pleasures in
degree which is attainable to
them, inasmuch as they follow
and they will have the pleasures
which are natural to them,
if that which is best for each
one is also most natural to him?
Yes, certainly; the best is
the most natural.
And when the whole soul follows
the philosophical principle,
and there is no division, the
several parts are just, and do
of them their own business, and
enjoy severally the best and
pleasures of which they are capable?
But when either of the two other
principles prevails, it fails
in attaining its own pleasure,
and compels the rest to pursue
after a pleasure which is a shadow
only and which is not their own?
And the greater the interval
which separates them from philosophy
and reason, the more strange
and illusive will be the pleasure?
And is not that farthest from
reason which is at the greatest
distance from law and order?
And the lustful and tyrannical
desires are, as we saw,
at the greatest distance? Yes.
And the royal and orderly desires
Then the tyrant will live at
the greatest distance from true
or natural pleasure, and the
king at the least?
But if so, the tyrant will live
most unpleasantly, and the king
Would you know the measure of
the interval which separates
Will you tell me?
There appear to be three pleasures,
one genuine and two spurious:
now the transgression of the
tyrant reaches a point beyond
he has run away from the region
of law and reason, and taken
his abode with certain slave
pleasures which are his satellites,
and the measure of his inferiority
can only be expressed in
How do you mean?
I assume, I said, that the tyrant
is in the third place from the
the democrat was in the middle?
And if there is truth in what
has preceded, he will be wedded
to an image of pleasure which
is thrice removed as to truth
from the pleasure of the oligarch?
And the oligarch is third from
the royal; since we count as
royal and aristocratical?
Yes, he is third.
Then the tyrant is removed from
true pleasure by the space
of a number which is three times
The shadow then of tyrannical
pleasure determined by the number
of length will be a plane figure.
And if you raise the power and
make the plane a solid, there
difficulty in seeing how vast
is the interval by which the
is parted from the king.
Yes; the arithmetician will
easily do the sum.
Or if some person begins at
the other end and measures the
by which the king is parted from
the tyrant in truth of pleasure,
he will find him, when the multiplication
is complete, living 729
times more pleasantly, and the
tyrant more painfully by this
What a wonderful calculation!
And how enormous is the distance
which separates the just from
the unjust in regard to pleasure
Yet a true calculation, I said,
and a number which nearly concerns
human life, if human beings are
concerned with days and nights
and months and years.
Yes, he said, human life is
certainly concerned with them.
Then if the good and just man
be thus superior in pleasure
to the evil and unjust, his superiority
will be infinitely
greater in propriety of life
and in beauty and virtue?
Well, I said, and now having
arrived at this stage of the
we may revert to the words which
brought us hither: Was not some
one saying that injustice was
a gain to the perfectly unjust
reputed to be just?
Yes, that was said.
Now then, having determined
the power and quality of justice
and injustice, let us have a
little conversation with him.
What shall we say to him?
Let us make an image of the
soul, that he may have his own
presented before his eyes.
Of what sort?
An ideal image of the soul,
like the composite creations
ancient mythology, such as the
Chimera or Scylla or Cerberus,
and there are many others in
which two or more different natures
are said to grow into one.
There are said of have been
Then do you now model the form
of a multitudinous, many-headed
having a ring of heads of all
manner of beasts, tame and wild,
which he is able to generate
and metamorphose at will.
You suppose marvellous powers
in the artist; but, as language
is more pliable than wax or any
similar substance, let there
be such a model as you propose.
Suppose now that you make a
second form as of a lion, and
of a man, the second smaller
than the first, and the third
than the second.
That, he said, is an easier
task; and I have made them as
And now join them, and let the
three grow into one.
That has been accomplished.
Next fashion the outside of
them into a single image, as
of a man,
so that he who is not able to
look within, and sees only the
may believe the beast to be a
single human creature. I have
And now, to him who maintains
that it is profitable for the
creature to be unjust, and unprofitable
to be just, let us reply that,
if he be right, it is profitable
for this creature to feast the
multitudinous monster and strengthen
the lion and the lion-like qualities,
but to starve and weaken the
man, who is consequently liable
dragged about at the mercy of
either of the other two; and
not to attempt to familiarize
or harmonize them with one another--
he ought rather to suffer them
to fight and bite and devour
Certainly, he said; that is
what the approver of injustice
To him the supporter of justice
makes answer that he should ever
so speak and act as to give the
man within him in some way or
the most complete mastery over
the entire human creature.
He should watch over the many-headed
monster like a good husbandman,
fostering and cultivating the
gentle qualities, and preventing
ones from growing; he should
be making the lion-heart his
and in common care of them all
should be uniting the several
with one another and with himself.
Yes, he said, that is quite
what the maintainer of justice
And so from every point of view,
whether of pleasure, honour,
or advantage, the approver of
justice is right and speaks the
and the disapprover is wrong
and false and ignorant.
Yes, from every point of view.
Come, now, and let us gently
reason with the unjust, who is
intentionally in error. `Sweet
Sir,' we will say to him, what
you of things esteemed noble
and ignoble? Is not the noble
which subjects the beast to the
man, or rather to the god in
and the ignoble that which subjects
the man to the beast?'
He can hardly avoid saying yes--can
Not if he has any regard for
But, if he agree so far, we
may ask him to answer another
`Then how would a man profit
if he received gold and silver
on the condition that he was
to enslave the noblest part of
to the worst? Who can imagine
that a man who sold his son
or daughter into slavery for
money, especially if he sold
into the hands of fierce and
evil men, would be the gainer,
however large might be the sum
which he received? And will any
one say that he is not a miserable
caitiff who remorselessly sells
his own divine being to that
which is most godless and detestable?
Eriphyle took the necklace as
the price of her husband's life,
but he is taking a bribe in order
to compass a worse ruin.'
Yes, said Glaucon, far worse--I
will answer for him.
Has not the intemperate been
censured of old, because in him
the huge multiform monster is
allowed to be too much at large?
And men are blamed for pride
and bad temper when the lion
element in them disproportionately
grows and gains strength?
And luxury and softness are
blamed, because they relax and
this same creature, and make
a coward of him?
And is not a man reproached
for flattery and meanness who
the spirited animal to the unruly
monster, and, for the sake of
of which he can never have enough,
habituates him in the days
of his youth to be trampled in
the mire, and from being a lion
to become a monkey?
True, he said.
And why are mean employments
and manual arts a reproach Only
because they imply a natural
weakness of the higher principle;
the individual is unable to control
the creatures within him,
but has to court them, and his
great study is how to flatter
Such appears to be the reason.
And therefore, being desirous
of placing him under a rule like
of the best, we say that he ought
to be the servant of the best,
in whom the Divine rules; not,
as Thrasymachus supposed, to
injury of the servant, but because
every one had better be ruled
by divine wisdom dwelling within
him; or, if this be impossible,
then by an external authority,
in order that we may be all,
as far as possible, under the
same government, friends and
True, he said.
And this is clearly seen to
be the intention of the law,
the ally of the whole city; and
is seen also in the authority
which we exercise over children,
and the refusal to let them
be free until we have established
in them a principle analogous
to the constitution of a state,
and by cultivation of this higher
element have set up in their
hearts a guardian and ruler like
and when this is done they may
go their ways.
Yes, he said, the purpose of
the law is manifest.
From what point of view, then,
and on what ground can we say
a man is profited by injustice
or intemperance or other baseness,
which will make him a worse man,
even though he acquire money
or power by his wickedness?
From no point of view at all.
What shall he profit, if his
injustice be undetected and unpunished?
He who is undetected only gets
worse, whereas he who is detected
and punished has the brutal part
of his nature silenced and humanized;
the gentler element in him is
liberated, and his whole soul
perfected and ennobled by the
acquirement of justice and temperance
and wisdom, more than the body
ever is by receiving gifts of
strength and health, in proportion
as the soul is more honourable
Certainly, he said.
To this nobler purpose the man
of understanding will devote
the energies of his life. And
in the first place, he will honour
studies which impress these qualities
on his soul and disregard others?
Clearly, he said.
In the next place, he will regulate
his bodily habit and training,
and so far will he be from yielding
to brutal and irrational pleasures,
that he will regard even health
as quite a secondary matter;
his first object will be not
that he may be fair or strong
unless he is likely thereby to
gain temperance, but he will
desire so to attemper the body
as to preserve the harmony of
Certainly he will, if he has
true music in him.
And in the acquisition of wealth
there is a principle of order
and harmony which he will also
observe; he will not allow himself
to be dazzled by the foolish
applause of the world, and heap
riches to his own infinite harm?
Certainly not, he said.
He will look at the city which
is within him, and take heed
disorder occur in it, such as
might arise either from superfluity
or from want; and upon this principle
he will regulate his property
and gain or spend according to
And, for the same reason, he
will gladly accept and enjoy
honours as he deems likely to
make him a better man; but those,
whether private or public, which
are likely to disorder his life,
he will avoid?
Then, if that is his motive,
he will not be a statesman.
By the dog of Egypt, he will!
in the city which is his own
certainly will, though in the
land of his birth perhaps not,
unless he have a divine call.
I understand; you mean that
he will be a ruler in the city
of which we are the founders,
and which exists in idea only;
for I do not believe that there
is such an one anywhere on earth?
In heaven, I replied, there
is laid up a pattern of it, methinks,
who desires may behold, and beholding,
may set his own house in order.
But whether such an one exists,
or ever will exist in fact,
is no matter; for he will live
after the manner of that city,
having nothing to do with any
I think so, he said.