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[517a] in 'evaluating' these shadows while his vision was still dim and before his eyes were accustomed to the dark—and this time required for habituation would not be very short—would he not provoke laughter,1 and would it not be said of him that he had returned from his journey aloft with his eyes ruined and that it was not worth while even to attempt the ascent? And if it were possible to lay hands on and to kill the man who tried to release them and lead them up, would they not kill him2?” “They certainly would,” he said.

“This image then, dear Glaucon, we must apply as a whole to all that has been said,

1 Like the philosopher in the court-room. Cf. Theaet. 172 C, 173 C ff., Gorg.. 484 D-e. Cf. also on 387 C-D. 515 D, 517 D, Soph. 216 D, Laches 196 B, Phaedr. 249 D.

2 An obvious allusion to the fate of Socrates. For other stinging allusions to this Cf. Gorg. 486 B, 521 C, Meno 100 B-C. Cf. Hamlet's “Wormwood, wormwood” (III. ii. 191). The text is disputed. See crit. note. A. Drachmann, “Zu Platons Staat,”Hermes, 1926, p. 110, thinks that an οἴει or something like it must be understood as having preceded, at least in Plato's thought, and that ἀποκτείνειν can be taken as a gloss or variant of ἀποκτεινύναι and the correct reading must be λαβεῖν, καὶ ἀποκτεινύναι ἄν. See also Adam ad loc.

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