This essay has been submitted by a student. This is not an example of the work written by professional essay writers.

Virtue in The Republic and The Odyssey

downloadDownload printPrint

Virtue in the Republic and the Odyssey

In Plato’s Republic, the ideas of virtue are expressed in regards to the soul. Socrates says that the four main virtues—wisdom, courage, moderation, and justice—are found in different parts of the ideal city. Wisdom, courage, and moderation are easily defined, but justice is a bit more tricky. Wisdom is found in the guardians of the city, and they need to have wisdom in order to have the best judgement on how to protect the city. Courage is found in the auxiliaries, who are essentially the footsoldiers. They need courage because they are the one’s policing the city and protecting it: they are the ones involved in combat. Moderation is found amongst the civilians and lower class, because these people should live within their means. Moderation could also imply that there is a balance of wealth in the city, nobody is in poverty and nobody is filthy rich. This idea of balance leads to the last virtue, which is the most difficult one for Socrates to define. Justice is must be found throughout the city when there is a balance between the other virtues. “A city seemed to be just when each of the three classes of natures present in it minded its own business and, again, moderate courageous, and wise because of certain other affections and habits of these same classes.” Socrates continues by making the virtuosity of man analogous to that of a city. “Then it’s in this way, my friend, that we’ll claim that the single man—with these same forms in his soul—thanks to the same affections as those in the city, rightly lays claim to the same names.”

Are you Looking For A Custom Essay about “Virtue in the Republic and the Odyssey” NOW? You Found It!

Professional Writers that Guarantee an On-time Delivery


experts online

Odysseus, the main character from Homer’s Odyssey, is the quintessential figure of a hero in ancient Greek literature. As with all heroes, Odysseus has many virtues, but Homer’s idea of virtue is quite different from the outline of virtue in Plato’s Republic. The only Platonic virtue that Odysseus embodies is courage. He is a fearless man that is unshaken by any of the challenges thrown at him. As for the other virtues, Odysseus may be smart, but he is not wise, he has no idea what moderation is, and without a balance of the former three virtues, he cannot be just.

In the Odyssey, Odysseus demonstrates his incredibly unfazed courage.On the cyclops’ island, he is not afraid of the cyclops and stabs him right in the eye, while even further insulting the cyclops as he sailed away by shouting his name. It certainly took some cunningness to bail him and his men out of the cyclops’ cave, but it was his poor judgement and unwise decision that led his men there in the first place. Announcing his identity as Odysseus was another unwise decision, as there was no benefit in doing so except to satisfy his ego. At Circe’s place, Odysseus showed no fear and threatened to kill Circe. Once Circe won him over, however, Odysseus showed no moderation and stayed for years just eating food and wine.

Get a Personal "Virtue in the Republic and the Odyssey" Tailored Essay For You in 3 Hours!

100% Customized to Your Need with Expert Writers


Odysseus does, however, have the important traits of loyalty and faith, which are characteristics perhaps overlooked by Plato. His loyalty to his wife and some kept his drive to get home burning for so many years, and he gave up many opportunities to start new lives with other women (although sometimes it took him a while to leave these women). His faith in the gods gave him a big helping hand, and it paid off for him because he would’ve never made it home without their help It seems that Plato, as a philosopher, has a much more objective approach to what virtue is, while Homer, the poet, has a much more subjective idea of virtue.

Remember! This is just a sample.

You can get your custom paper by one of our expert writers.

Get custom essay

121 writers online

Virtue in The Republic and The Odyssey Essay

Remember: This is just a sample from a fellow student.

Your time is important. Let us write you an essay from scratch

experts 450+ experts on 30 subjects ready to help you just now

delivery Starting from 3 hours delivery

Find Free Essays

We provide you with original essay samples, perfect formatting and styling

Cite this Essay

To export a reference to this article please select a referencing style below:

Virtue in the Republic and the Odyssey. (2018, November 15). GradesFixer. Retrieved June 6, 2023, from
“Virtue in the Republic and the Odyssey.” GradesFixer, 15 Nov. 2018,
Virtue in the Republic and the Odyssey. [online]. Available at: <> [Accessed 6 Jun. 2023].
Virtue in the Republic and the Odyssey [Internet]. GradesFixer. 2018 Nov 15 [cited 2023 Jun 6]. Available from:
copy to clipboard

Where do you want us to send this sample?

    By clicking “Continue”, you agree to our terms of service and privacy policy.


    Be careful. This essay is not unique

    This essay was donated by a student and is likely to have been used and submitted before

    Download this Sample

    Free samples may contain mistakes and not unique parts


    Sorry, we could not paraphrase this essay. Our professional writers can rewrite it and get you a unique paper.



    Please check your inbox.

    We can write you a custom essay that will follow your exact instructions and meet the deadlines. Let's fix your grades together!


    Get Your Personalized Essay in 3 Hours or Less!


    We can help you get a better grade and deliver your task on time!

    • Instructions Followed To The Letter
    • Deadlines Met At Every Stage
    • Unique And Plagiarism Free
    Order your paper now