**Student Review** by Caitlin Timmins
Written in 380 BCE by Plato, a forerunner of Western development, The Republic systematically loosens the ties binding man to his preconceived notions of justice and government. In doing so, the protagonist Socrates introduces ideologies that prove to play significant roles in philosophy thereafter. In a ten part chronicle, Socrates questions fellow Athenians on their stances regarding the function of morals, government, and the soul. Plato implements the Socratic Method in his writing, requiring critical thinking of the story’s characters as well as the reader. Readers approaching The Republic should understand that in order to thoroughly comprehend and appreciate the subject matter, they must continuously reassess their own viewpoints throughout the extensive logic-fueled debates.
Even clear wording is clouded by the complex concepts presented by this Socratic dialogue, yet Plato’s attention to detailed analysis manages to believably lead even Socrates’ most adamant opponents to eventually agree with his beliefs. Plato’s carefully conceived maze of logic and underlying bias will undoubtedly impress anyone interested in philosophy, debate, or human manipulation. Throughout the book, Socrates leads his associates through personal and moral evaluations, often arriving at surprising conclusions. Frequently however, such conclusions are not overtly stated or are refuted by seeming contradictions. Regardless, The Republic does an excellent job of appraising traditional institutions long before society began to question their value. Readers not deterred by the book’s considerable length or antiquated language will find themselves drawn into man’s timeless and insatiable quest for clarity.