Plato’s Republic Book II (Part II): The City in Speech

In the second half of Book II, Socrates is put on trial, reluctantly defending justice against the false accusations of the Athenian brothers, Glaucon and Adeimantus. He suggests they examine the question of justice in a larger way, not like men who are squinting at small letters from a distance. Socrates proposes that they watch … Continue reading Plato’s Republic Book II (Part II): The City in Speech

What is Love in the Symposium?

Plato’s famous dialogue, the Symposium, takes place the day after the tragic poet, Agathon, wins his first and only award at the Lenaia in 416 BC, the year before Alcibiades’s failed quest to Sicily. The dramatic setting occurs among a group of Athenians gathered at Agathon’s house in Athens to celebrate his victory. The party is … Continue reading What is Love in the Symposium?

“All The World’s A Stage” Considered

In Act II scene 7 of Shakespeare's As You Like It, we encounter one of the more fatalistic and artful monologues in all of Shakespearean literature, Jaques's famous "All the world's a stage" soliloquy. Drawing on Ovid, Shakespeare uses the character, Jaques, to compare the totality of human life to the charade of a play, … Continue reading “All The World’s A Stage” Considered

Notes on the Isha Upanishad

In the Isha Upanishad (perhaps meaning hidden or enveloped in the lord or ruler), there is an acknowledgement of the distinction between the 'transient' and the 'eternal.' In the opening line, the eternal is identified as superior to the transient. One who dwells exceedingly on the latter will descend into darkness, but one who acts according … Continue reading Notes on the Isha Upanishad