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  • Posted By: grantville
  • Date Posted: 06/27/2011
  • Category: Philosophy
  • Words: 1476
  • Pages: 6
  • Views: 886
  • Rank: 763

Analysis of Ion by Plato

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Analysis of Ion by Plato

In Ion, Plato presents a dialogue between his influential teacher Socrates and a distinguished rhapsode, Ion. While Socrates considers himself ¡§a common man who only speak the truth¡¨ (47), Ion is proud and boastful, regarding himself as a rhapsode who can ¡§speak about Homer better than any man¡¨ (47). The primary issues between these two contradictory characters¡¦ are the difference between gift of speech and knowledge of speech, as well as the attending of oneself to moral by understanding an idea as a whole rather than superficially understanding.

Ion is a rhapsode, a professional narrator of Homer, who obtained the first prize in the festival of Asclepius. Despite his ¡§talent¡¨ for dramatics, intonation, and voice of inflection, the seemingly necessary vocal tools of a reciter, his knowledge and understanding of Homer, specifically in terms of those various arts featured in Odyssey, fails to extend beyond his ability to memorize the epic poem. Socrates speaks candidly about such paradox Ion is experiencing; ¡§Of whom, Ion, you are one, and are possessed by Homer and when any one repeats the words of another poet you go to sleep, and know not what to say; but when any one recites a strain of Homer you wake up in a moment, and your soul leaps within you, and you have plenty to say; for not by art or knowledge about Homer do you say what you say, but by divine inspiration and by possession.¡¨ (50) Socratic theory of inspiration is a divinity that is moving a person. Socrates speaks metaphorically, saying that such is like a magnet that attracts iron rings and magnetizes them along a chain. Muse inspires poets, and poets inspire rhapsodes or critics. Socrates also mentions, ¡§And every poet has some Muse from whom he is suspended, and by whom ...

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