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Plato's the Republic

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Plato's The Republic

In Plato's The Republic, Thrasymachus plays a large role in Book I. In this book, he plays an imperative role in trying to find the meaning of "justice." His conversation with Socrates, Polemarchus, and Cephalus becomes heated when Thrasymachus becomes annoyed at how the conversation is being carried on. The character of Thrasymachus has his own unique ideas as to what the term in question means, and will stop at no expense to get his opinions out. In Book I, Tharsymachus believes in a different idea of what justice is while disagreeing with Socrates and frightening others.

In The Republic, Thrasymachus has his own idea of what justice truly is. He says that "the just is nothing other the advantage of the stronger" (338c). Though he is saying that this is the true meaning, it is meant as a delegitimization of justice itself. He thinks that it does not pay to be just because it only pays to the advantage of other people. He is selfish in thinking that it does not pay to be the person who is being just. Thrasymachus believes that justice is actually restraining us from what we want, and that it should be ignored entirely. In addition, he believes that people who have power and rule any place make the laws and perpetually make the laws to their own financial and political advantage. Overall, Thrasymachus seems very stubborn about his own idea of justice.

Being a complex character, one of Thrasymachus' main roles in The Republic is speaking with Socrates about the meaning of justice. After he says his definition, Socrates tends to keep disagreeing with him and make him say more about his argument. Socrates says that Thrasymachus' argument of justice being "the advantage of the stronger" is hard to believe. Socrates then takes him on a journey through many questions until Thrasymachus becomes irritated. Thrasymachus even calls out Socrates saying, "You won't be able to overpower me in the argument." This is very ironic because at the end of the story Thrasymachus realizes that his definition is completely wrong and is "tamed" by Socrates.

The third thing about Thrasymachus' character that is important in The Republic is his tendency to be frightening towards others. Socrates recalls, "I was astounded when I heard him, and, looking at him, I was frightened. I think that if I had not seen him before he saw me, I would have been speechless" (336d). The paragraph before this Socrates tells the audience that Thrasymachus would start to take over the argument but then get restrained by men sitting near him. When they tried to restrain him, he "hunched up like a wild beast" (336b) and threw himself at his acquaintances while screaming in their direction. The actions of Thrasymachus would be enough to scare even the bravest man.

Overall, Thrasymachus is a very rounded

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