Summarize what happens in the passage in your own words, then conduct an analysis of the rhetorical strategies that the speakers employ to achieve a particular aim in that section of the dialogue. Make sure to provide specific textual evidence from the passage to support your argument. As you develop your ideas and claims, consider the following questions: How does the speaker craft their message to engage and persuade their interlocutor(s)? Does the speaker make appeals to ethos, logos, and pathos? If so, how and to what ends? If Plato employs an analogy, allegory, myth, or other figurative device in your passage, what conceptual work does that figure accomplish? How does this passage relate to Plato’s larger worldbuilding project in the dialogue, either in defining the way the world currently is or in articulating the way an idealized world might be?
For the purposes of this assignment, you will treat Grube’s translation of Plato’s Republic as the primary source.
Not what the text means but HOW the text creates meaning (and/or persuades its audience thorough rhetorical choices
Rhetorical devices/choices and their impacts on the audience: what specific device/choice is used? What appeals does the device/choice create. How does it contribute to the main argument/message and impact the audience?
Types of choices: diction, syntax, tone, characterization, dialogue, structure, figurative language (simile, metaphor, hyperbole), etc.
No, by god, I don’t think myself that these stories are fit to be told. Indeed, if we want the guardians of our city to think that it’s shameful to be easily provoked into hating another, we mustn’t allow any stories about gods warring, fighting, or plotting against one another, for they aren’t true. The battles of gods and giants, and all the various stories of the gods hating their families or friends, should neither be told nor even woven in embroideries. If We’re to persuade our people that no citizen has ever hated another and that it’s impious to do so, then that’s what should be told to children from the beginning by old men and women; and as these children grow older, poets should be compelled to tell them the same sort of thing. We won’t admit stories into our city—whether allegorical or not—about Hera being chained by her son, nor about Hephaestus being hurled from heaven by his father when he tried to help his mother, who was being beaten, nor about the battle of the gods in Homer. The young can’t distinguish what is allegorical from what isn’t, and the opinions they absorb at that age are hard to erase and apt to become unalterable. For these reasons, then, we should probably take the utmost care to insure that the first stories they hear about virtue are the best ones for them to hear.
That’s reasonable. But if someone asked us what stories these are, what should we say?
You and I, Adeimantus, aren’t poets, but we are founding a city. And it’s appropriate for the founders to know the patterns on which poets must base their stories and from which they mustn’t deviate. But we aren’t actually going to compose their poems for them.
All right. But what precisely are the patterns for theology or stories about the gods?
Something like this: Whether in epic, lyric, or tragedy, a god must always be represented as he is.
Indeed, he must.
(Plato, Republic Book II 378b-379a)