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[393d] And lest you may say again that you don't understand, I will explain to you how this would be done. If Homer, after telling us that Chryses came with the ransom of his daughter and as a suppliant of the Achaeans but chiefly of the kings, had gone on speaking not as if made or being Chryses1 but still as Homer, you are aware that it would not be imitation but narration, pure and simple. It would have been somewhat in this wise. I will state it without meter for I am not a poet:2

1 Cf. Hazlitt, Antony and Cleopatra: “Shakespeare does not stand reasoning on what his characters would do or say, but at once becomes them and speaks and acts for them.”

2 From here to 394 B, Plato gives a prose paraphrase of Iliad i. 12-42. Roger Ascham in his Schoolmaster quotes it as a perfect example of the best form of exercise for learning a language.

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