Author Archives: sallysm

The Tempest

I’m honestly not even too sure how about I feel about the Tempest. I hadn’t been familiar with this particular work of Shakespeare’s before now, but I think it’s safe to say that it’s pretty similar to some of his other works regarding his writing and stylistic choices . Prospero is an interesting, if not especially likable, character. I don’t feel like sending your daughter’s love interest to *prison* because *you* feel like their relationship is progressing too quickly is an appropriate way to behave. I think the men in Shakespeare’s works are typically pretty oppressive, controlling, egotistical, and otherwise follow the standards of what was deemed to be an acceptable level of “masculinity” in that era. Which is, admittedly, a bit off-topic. The story itself was pretty compelling, but I felt no real connection to the characters. Some people might argue that the struggles and emotions expressed by Shakespeare are relatable to the modern man because they are intrinsically human, and that we might experience various degrees of similar emotions/desicion-making processes; but I am not one of those people. And despite knowing that Shakespeare’s works are revered masterpieces as far as literature goes – I will probably never get over the fact that I essentially need a separate translation just to get through his works. 


TL;DR : I thought the play was interesting enough, but I’m not really Shakespeare’s biggest fan.

Plato’s Republic Book II

Book II deals with a few different subject matters which are very interesting. The first is whether or not justice in its most abstract form is something which people truly desire . Socrates is challenged to prove that justice is practiced just for its own sake, as well as for the consequences which it will bring. It could be just a means to an end, “quid pro quo” and all that. Or some might want to be just in order to rack up brownie points for the afterlife. I find these arguments to be super fascinating, and honestly pretty compelling! Surprisingly, I find myself drawn to Glaucon’s ideas and can totally emphasize with his viewpoints in this book.

Another relevant topic brought up is the principle of specialization, which is to say the idea that individuals should just do what they’re best at and nothing more. It’s a strange system that allows for a functioning and ‘just’ society, but I feel like it builds a potentially unjust hierarchy from the get go. Different professions have different levels, with the guardians sitting right on top. Much of the rules set in this weird world are set in order to create the perfect guardians, such as which stories about the gods were allowed to be told. The idea is that through this group effort, these guardians will be attained, therefore improving everyone’s lives overall. Here the need of the group is placed above the needs of the individual, since many sacrifices will have to be made by the lower classes in order to continue rising the city to the top.