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STUDY GUIDE. QUESTIONS Short Response Questions 1.

Who are the "Guardians" and what role do they play in Plato's ideal republic? They are the future rulers of the Republic as envisioned by Plato. He refers to them as "philosophers-kings," because he believes that the ideal rulers must possess true knowledge of the Forms. They are the elite, and Plato even grants them the right to lie "for the good of the community," should "an external or internal threat make it necessary" (Plato 55). 2. Why must poets depict gods, heroes and human beings accurately? According to Plato, poets must depict gods, heroes and human beings accurately so that the resulting texts would be beneficial for the education of the future leaders. Those texts must portray the gods and heroes as having good qualities; otherwise, passages where they fight, lie, rebel, etc. would confuse the future leaders and instill in them subversive ideas that could threaten the order of a well-regulated community. Plato offers several specific guidelines for accurate depictions. God (or the gods) must be depicted as responsible only for the good; to tell stories where God is responsible for the badness in people would only confuse the audience and should be treated as a sacrilege. God, whose divine form is already perfect and immutable, also cannot be depicted as a lying "shape-shifting wizard," because then the future rulers "won't grow up to be religious people" (ibid. 52). Hades should not be depicted as a place of woe, fear and terror, and the heroes should not be portrayed as mourning for the dead, for such descriptions are unfit for the minds of young men who are expected to grow up to be brave and not fear death in battle. Depictions of laughter, feasting, drinking, erotic love and desire for material gain should also be discraded. 3. What is the purpose of a cultural education? The purpose of a cultural education is to obtain a good and disciplined character, which is marked by a rational mind and the use of good language, as well as the ability to recognize grace, elegance, rhythm and haromy in the surrounding world. 4. In what way are tragic playwrights "two generations away from throne of truth". Tragic playwrights are "two generations away from throne of truth" because they represent what is already an inferior representation of the true original. That is, they produce copies of the appearances of objects, not knowing their true Form. 5. What is the distinction between usage, manufacture and representation?

The person who uses a particular object, a horseman and his saddle for instance, has the most knowledge about it. The manufacturer, in this case a saddler, does not have the same amount of knowledge. When he makes the saddle, he relies on the knowledge shared by the horseman to ensure the product will turn out well; in Plato's terminology, the saddler acquires true belief. An artist who paints a picture of a saddle makes a mere representation; he cannot judge a saddle's goodness or badness because he has no knowledge acquired by using it, unlike the horseman, nor true belief by learning about it from the horseman, unlike the saddler. 6. According to Plato, why should people worry about the possible effects of poetry "on one's own inner polytical system"? Plato warns that if the society of a well-governed community allows the profussion of lyric and epic poetry that is not limited to "hymns to the gods and eulogies of virtuous men" (ibid. 76), there will be no rule of law and reason, because people will be distracted by pleasure and pain. Plato believes that while society should look down on excessive show of emotion and value restraint, poetical performances elicit strong emotions from the audience, who might think it is okay to behave like that in their personal and public affairs. 7. What, according to Aristotle, is the difference between tragedy and history? Aristotle treats poetry as "a source of universal knowledge and human behavior" (Aristotle 85), which presents the action of characters who might be any people. History, on the other hand, offers knowledge only of specific situations. History relates what has happened, while poetry muses what any given character may say or do "according to the law of probablity or necessity" (ibid. 92). Aristotle views poetry as more philosophically inclined. 8. What is the goal ("final cause") of tragedy? The "final cause" of tragedy is the effect it has on the audience, i.e. the emotions it elicits during the catharsis. 9. What are the elements of the plot? Since tragedy is a representation of a whole action, it must include a beginning, a middle and a conclusion. Complex plots should also include a reversal, a recognition, and catharsis. 10. What is the role of catharsis in Aristotle's theory? Aristotle refers to the audience's "purging" of emotions such as pity and terror that build up as the tragedy unfolds.

Definitions 1. Dialectic - Socrates's method of cross-examination used to guide the learner or interlocutor into realizing the contradictions of their initial claims or statements. 2. Mimesis - Representation or imitation. Plato argues that poetry is a copy of objects in the physical world, which are in turn copies of universals, or Forms. Instead of leading towards the Forms, which is true knowledge, poetry takes people a step back by presenting them copies of copies. Aristotle also speaks of mimesis, but unlike Plato, he does not view artistic representation as a degrading imitation. Instead, he says that humans are naturally given to representation, which differs us from animals; everyone delights in representation, and it is a way to learn. 3. True Belief - In the three areas of expertise on any given object--usage, manufacture, and representation--true belief is acquired in the area of manufacture. The manufacturer can judge the value and quality of the object being made after learning about it from the person who knows about from having used it. 4. Form (or "universal") - The Forms refer to a metaphysical world of perfect objects, which, because they are immutable, are superior to the same but changeable objects in the material world. Plato advocates an education that would lead the students to understanding the Forms. 5. Appearance/Reality - Painters and poets represent things the way they appear in the world, and not the way they really are. When they depict objects, they rely on how they look, but not on the knowledge of their perfect form. In the allegory of the cave, the prisoner who sees the shadows thinks that that they constitute reality, but he realizes that they are mere appearances when he is forced into the blinding reality outside of the cave. 6. Complex plot - A plot that has reversal (peripetia), recognition (anagnorisis), or both. Ideally, reversal and recognition should happen at the same time, and Aristotle cites Oedipus as the perfect example of a complex plot. 7. Reversal - Aristotle states that in the resolution of a good complex plot, there should be an instance when the action is expected to develop one way, but results in its opposite. In Antigone, for example, the reversal happens when Creon finally agrees to free Antigone. 8. Recognition - Another feature of a good complex plot is when the character goes from being ignorant to realizing something about his or her fate. In Antigone, for example, Creon undergoes a recognition when he realizes that he should not have sentenced Antigone to death, going against religious tradition and public opinion.

9. Hamartia - Literally "missing the mark;" a flaw or error that plays a decisive role in a character's tragic fate. Aristotle states it is preferable that the tragic events of the play result from the characters' flaws or errors, rather than from accidents or evilness of heart. 10. The "three unities" - First, there is the unity of action, which means that since the plot is an imitation of one object, it should therefore represent one action; if parts of the plot can be removed without it affecting the unity of the one main action, then they do not belong there. Second, there is the unity of time, which means that the action of a tragedy should take place within one revolution of the sun. Lastly, there is the unity of place, which Aristotle does not actually advocate in the Poetics.