In this passage, Socrates claims that Homer’s use of imitation in his stories ruins his poetic and narrative works. Socrates suggests that changing both the form and content of Homer’s story will encourage virtue in the soul of the young . In establishing his own position, Socrates writes, “If the poet nowhere hid himself, his poetic work and narrative as a whole would have taken place without imitation.” Socrates explains that when Homer speaks in his own narrative voice, the story becomes less exciting and less poet; therefore, not developing the souls of the young with virtuous characteristics. This paper will demonstrate that Socrates’ reiteration of Homer’s story of Chryses justifies his narrative use of content and forms.
In the beginning of Book III, Socrates discusses how stories written by poets should encourage virtues in the soul of the young.1 Stories that are more poetic and don’t embody…show more content… Chryses also prays for the Achaeans safety in the war against Troy. The Achaeans “showed pious respect and consented”1 with his wish to get his daughter back; however, Agamemnon refuses. Even though Agaemomnon did not free Chyrses’ daughter, in Socrates’ reiteration, Chryses did not call upon the gods for revenge, but went on his way and prayed to the gods for help. Because of the virtues he displayed, passage 3.394a reveals that the gods do help him and strike down the Achaeans with arrows.
Socrates version of Homer’s story shows great depth and understanding of the forms and content he wants to represent. His main concern is of the young boys’ soul as they grow and the future they bring to the city as men. Stories that embody the virtues help teach boys to grow in a virtuous way, to understand their purpose, and behave accordingly. Socrates does not want the boys to be enchanted by the experiences and false reality poets wish to present, through