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[509c]

And Glaucon very ludicrously1 said, “Heaven save us, hyperbole2 can no further go.” “The fault is yours,” I said, “for compelling me to utter my thoughts about it.” “And don't desist,” he said, “but at least3 expound the similitude of the sun, if there is anything that you are omitting.” “Why, certainly,” I said, “I am omitting a great deal.” “Well, don't omit the least bit,” he said. “I fancy,” I said, “that I shall have to pass over much, but nevertheless so far as it is at present practicable I shall not willingly leave anything out.” “Do not,”

1 He is amused at Socrates' emphasis. Fanciful is Wilamowitz' notion (Platon, i. p. 209)that the laughable thing is Glaucon's losing control of himself, for which he compares Aristoph.Birds 61. Cf. the extraordinary comment of Proclus, p. 265. The dramatic humor of Glaucon's surprise is Plato's way of smiling at himself, as he frequently does in the dialogues. Cf. 536 B, 540 B, Lysis 223 B, Protag. 340 E, Charm. 175 E, Cratyl. 426 B, Theaet. 200 B, 197 D, etc. Cf. Friedländer, Platon, i. p. 172 on the Phaedo.

2 “What a comble!” would be nearer the tone of the Greek. There is no good English equivalent for ὑπερβολῆς. Cf. Sir Thomas Browne's remark that “nothing can be said hyperbolically of God.” The banter here relieves the strain, as is Plato's manner.

3 Cf. 502 A, Symp. 222 E, Meno 86 E.

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