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[388a] and not to the most worthy of them either, and to inferior men, in that those whom we say we are breeding for the guardianship of the land may disdain to act like these.” “We should be right,” said he. “Again then we shall request Homer and the other poets not to portray Achilles, the son of a goddess, as,“ Lying now on his side, and then again on his back,
And again on his face,
Hom. Il. 24.10-121 and then rising up and “‘Drifting distraught on the shore of the waste unharvested ocean,’”Hom. Il. 24.10-122 [388b] nor ““clutching with both hands the sooty dust and strewing it over his head,””3 nor as weeping and lamenting in the measure and manner attributed to him by the poet; nor yet Priam,4 near kinsman of the gods, making supplication and rolling in the dung,“ Calling aloud unto each, by name to each man appealing.
Hom. Il. 22.414-415And yet more than this shall we beg of them at least not to describe the gods as lamenting and crying, [388c] “ Ah, woe is me, woeful mother who bore to my sorrow the bravest,
Hom. Il. 18.545and if they will so picture the gods at least not to have the effrontery to present so unlikely a likeness6 of the supreme god as to make him say:“ Out on it, dear to my heart is the man whose pursuit around Troy-town
I must behold with my eyes while my spirit is grieving within me,
Hom. Il. 22.1687and:“ Ah, woe is me! of all men to me is Sarpedon the dearest,
” [388d]

“ Fated to fall by the hands of Patroclus, Menoitius' offspring.

Hom. Il. 16.433-434
8

“For if, dear Adeimantus, our young men should seriously incline to listen to such tales and not laugh at them as unworthy utterances, still less surely would any man be to think such conduct unworthy of himself and to rebuke himself if it occurred to him to do or say anything of that kind, but without shame or restraint full many a dirge for trifles would he chant9 and many a lament.” [388e] “You say most truly,” he replied. “But that must not be, as our reasoning but now showed us, in which we must put our trust until someone convinces with a better reason.” “No, it must not be.” “Again, they must not be prone to laughter.10 For ordinarily when one abandons himself to violent laughter his condition provokes a violent reaction.11” “I think so,” he said. “Then if anyone represents men of worth as overpowered

1 The descripition of Achilles mourning for Patroclus, Hom. Il. 24.10-12. Cf. Juv. 3.279-280: “Noctem patitur lugentis amicum/ Pelidae, cubat in faciem mox deinde supinus.”

2 Our text of Homer reads δινεύεσκ᾽ ἀλύων παρὰ θίν᾽ ἀλός, οὐδέ μιν ἠώς. Plato's text may be intentional burlesque or it may be corrupt.

3 When he heard of Patroclus's death.

4 Hom. Il. 22.414-415.

5 Thetis.

6 Cf. 377 E.

7 Zeus of Hector.

8 Cf. Virgil's imitation, Aeneid 10.465 ff., Cicero, De Div. ii. ch. 10.

9 I have imitated the suggestion of rhythm in the original which with its Ionic dative is perhaps a latent quotation from tragedy. Cf. Chairemon,οὐδεὶς ἐπὶ σμικροῖσι λυπεῖται σοφός, N fr. 37.

10 The ancients generally thought violent laughter undignified. Cf. Isocrates Demon. 15, Plato Laws 732 C, 935 B, Epictetus Encheirid. xxxiii. 4, Dio Chrys.Or. 33. 703 R. Diogenes Laertius iii. 26, reports that Plato never laughed excessively in his youth. Aristotle's great-souled man would presumably have eschewed laughter (Eth. iv. 8, Rhet. 1389 b 10), as Lord Chesterfield advises his son to do.

11 In 563 E Plato generalizes this psychological principle.

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