Socrates: Throwing Verbal Rocks at these Mediocrities?

Okay, so here’s the situation: me reading Republic at like 1 in the morning, not understanding a word of what was going on. Something something Socrates challenging Thrasymachus… wait… how did he get from point A to point upside down A? Did he just flip Thrasymachus’ whole argument?? What just happened?! *Cue me re-reading Book 1 about five more times*

I just kept staring at the interaction between Socrates and Thrasymachus, and I remembered a lyric from the hit Broadway musical, Hamilton: “If not then I’ll be Socrates/ Throwing verbal rocks at these mediocrities!” And I was like HEY I finally understand what he meant when he said that! Socrates is a savage with these words! Isn’t it funny how rhymes in the form of rap can improve your understanding and break complex ideas down a bit?  And then I thought some more, and I came up with two lines:

Yo, how many times do I have to tell you
that my take on justice is the better view?

I gasped, dropped my book and ran out of my room. WHAT IF SOCRATES RAP BATTLED THRASYMACHUS?! Like the YouTube channel; Epic Rap Battles (ERB)! (Their stuff is awesome if you haven’t already checked it out, you should. There are also a couple rap battles in Hamilton.) I was motivated, so I spent the next couple of days refining my rap which is coming up. I have my own rhythm for it that I came up with, and you can read it like a kind of weird poem, or you can come up with your own rhythm to make it flow, the choice is up to you. I would have included an audio link to me actually rapping it, but that’s just embarrassing. This is only the beginning of Socrates’ part because I did not have time to come up with Thrasymachus’ response (though I did have plans for it).


Yo, how many times do I have to tell you
that my take on justice is the better view?
Here I am asking ’bout what justice means,
I see your mind turning like the wheels of a machine.
I gave you my attention, I gave you my time,
The first words out your mouth should’ve gave me a sign
Of how pointless this conversation would be,
when I likened your words to a slice of beef.

According to you, it only works one way;
justice helps the stronger, but what I say
is if we break down what you said into tiny little pieces,
we’d soon realize the error in your thesis.
First of all, what you’re saying is such,
justice only helps those who are better than us!
We obey the rules, we obey the laws,
but what is it that happens when a ruler has flaws?
A king that makes rules that don’t help him out,
are we still gonna say that’s what justice is about?
Well, yeah, we still do what we’re told,
So if this is what you’re arguing, I’m not sold.


Then Thrasymachus would come in and accuse Socrates of not even saying his view on justice in the first place and of only breaking down what others are saying, it would be great. Thrasymachus would even have his own unique sound and the beats would switch up, if you could hear it in my mind it would sound awesome. Unfortunately, I don’t have months to work on this. If I did, Glaucon would have his own song with the melody being played using a ukulele.

So, that’s basically what popped into my head and stayed there until I finally wrote it all out! Since I had to create a rap on this, it actually had me read the text more critically and therefore I was able to understand it better, and that translated for the rest of the books as well. Thank God for 1 a.m. inspiration, am I right?



Lin- Manuel Miranda. “Non- Stop.” Hamilton, Atlantic Records, 2015.

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One Response to Socrates: Throwing Verbal Rocks at these Mediocrities?

  1. anne arandia


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