Monday, July 22, 2019

Character Sketch - Cephalus from Plato S Republic Essay Example for Free

Character Sketch Cephalus from Plato S Republic Essay Choose one of the three main characters from Book One of Platos Republic (Cephalus, Polemarchus or Thrasymachus). Write a character sketch that shows how the personality, social status, life situation and position affect the views the character holds about life and about the virtue of justice. Include the definition of justice for the character you are describing. In book one, we are introduced to four main characters: Socrates, Cephalus, Polemarchus, and Thrasymachus. Republic takes place in the home of Cephalus and Polemarchus, in the Piraeus. Cephalus is a elderly and financially secure merchant and businessman. He lives his life in moderation, he doesn’t over-reach and try to become too wealthy, and was also not a fan of excessive spending. He certainly wouldn’t approve of the credit card debts that many Americans have. But thanks to his financial security, Cephalus has a comfortable life in old age. By living his life in moderation, the transition to an elderly lifestyle has not been shocking or depressing. Cephalus will admit that these are not his Golden Years, per say – it’s certainly not the greatest period in his life, but thanks to that moderation, he finds the old age to not be as much of a burden as his friends do. His friends are depressed and woeful of their age. They miss the lifestyle that they had in their youth. Because of their age, they can no longer partake in the things they thought made them happy – sex, drugs, rock and roll, essentially. Cephalus has a simple idea of justice. Though he never goes to describe it himself, we can pull some context from his discussion with Socrates to fill in the details. Cephalus is an honest man, and as we said, he lives his life in moderation in all aspects. He doesn’t strive for unlimited wealth, but still values that wealth he has, and likely behaves ethically and morally for that reason. Cephalus keeps his desires at bay – he works hard, and he enjoys himself, but always manages to hold onto most of his money. The problem is, it seems to Socrates to be easier to live a ‘just’ and moderate life, because of the wealth that Cephalus possesses. Because Cephalus values wealth, he seems to put a heavy emphasis on the repayment of debts (and avoidance of debt in the first place as well) in his ideal of justice. He feels that if he can go to his next life not owing anyone a penny, it will lift a burden on his soul, in a metaphysical sense. A peace of mind comes with not lying or engaging in deception – which is easier to maintain when wealthy and not faced with problems (like, for example, feeding and clothing your family – some people will do anything when they are seemingly backed into a corner). Thanks to wealth, Cephalus is (at least in his own point of view) able to live a life without lies, without deception, and without debts.

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