Study Guide

The Republic Narrator Point of View

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Narrator Point of View

First Person (Central Narrator)

Even though the Republic is technically a "dialogue," we hear all about this dialogue from Plato himself. Now, Plato must have had a killer memory to keep track of this 300-page discussion—assuming this is even an accurate transcription of a real dialogue that actually happened, which is unlikely.

While Socrates doesn't spend a lot of time sharing his feelings, we do get a sneak peak at his anxiety during his argument with an angry Thrasymachus: "I was astounded when I heard [Thrasymachus], and, looking at him, I was frightened" (336d).

Socrates's (and Plato's) potential unreliability as a narrator also comes out a few times when he reveals that he's been making some edits in how things happened: "Now, Thrasymachus did not agree to all of this so easily as I tell it now..." (350d). It's possible that Plato is reminding us that we're reading Socrates's version of events and is inviting us to not necessarily trust every detail he describes.

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