Response to Plato’s Republic

Sophie Galarneau

Response to Plato’s Republic


Plato’s Republic is a dialogue between Socrates and Glaucon about equality between men and women and also leaders and followers. They also discuss what makes someone different from the other. Concepts are brought up to question the popular opinion about each of these things. For example, Socrates brings up the question “Are dogs divided into hes and shes or do they both share equally in hunting and in keeping watch…?” Glaucon’s responses continue to contradict and show his confusion. These unquestioned assumptions we make about gender roles are contradictory.

Socrates later brings up “if women are to have the same duties as men, they must have the same nurture and education.” Glaucon agrees with him, which makes sense since you cannot do anything without education. You have to learn how. Men couldn’t do what they’re expected without their education, so there’s no possibility women could do any less or more without equal opportunity to learn.

Socrates shares an analogy, “when a man is out of his depth, whether he has fallen into a little swimming or into mid-ocean, he has to swim all the same.” This applies to the argument against whether women and men can do the same work with the same quality. In the case of women, a woman in a man’s position of learning or work will have to do the same as man. She will have to try as hard as a man would have to. According to Socrates, a woman would also have to work the same way of her nature no matter what the situation. Basically, no matter woman or man, they have different ways of doing things, but this does not mean they cannot do the same work or different work well.


2 thoughts on “Response to Plato’s Republic

  1. I really like your analysis of Plato’s Republic. Its so true that Plato had indeed established so many great reasonings as to how women and men should be treated with equity. Even though Plato was going towards the idea of males being superior to females, this excerpt really underlined some issues with the way men thought during that era. In that respect Plato’s Republic can be considered a step in the right direction on how people should view women equally, and I loved how you emphasized that point.


  2. I liked how you brought up the quote regarding the role of education in society. It proved a interesting point where if women are not given an opportunity to learn, then they will not be able to express their ideas and thoughts clearly, as well as contribute to society as men do.


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