Character Traits of Socrates and Protagoras

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Plato Theaetetus is a book that was written so many years back by Plato and it was edited by Bernard Williams, translated by M. J Levitt and later revised by Myles Burnyeat. In his book, Plato used a number of characters in a bid to pass his message to the readers. The books open with a dialogue that is taking place between Socrates and another stranger. In this article, the focus is mainly on the characters traits of these two. In order to analyze characters in a given text, the focus is mainly on what other characters say about the character, what the author says about the character, and how the character behaves and says in the book.  This is no exception to these two characters. Although the author has used a number of characters in his work, among other elements, it is these two characters; Socrates and Protagoras that mainly attracts the eyes of the reader.

When the book opens, the influential character of Protagoras is evident owing to Hippocrates obsession of dying to learn from him. Ironically, on being asked by Socrates why he is so much obsessed with learning from Protagoras, he does not have a ready answer. In this incidence, the ambitious and curious character of Socrates is portrayed. He is also introduced to the reader as a convincing person because he manages to convince Hippocrates to accompany him to interrogate Protagoras. Additionally, the intuitive character of Socrates is witnessed by the reader when he is questioning Protagoras. Protagoras on the other hand is seen as an intelligent and knowledgeable person. He admits to Socrates that he normally teaches politics and lessons on how to manage one's affairs. The questionable character of Socrates is evident when he keeps on asking Protagoras whether whatever he was teaching to the students was indeed relevant.

The intelligent character of Protagoras is witnessed when he opts to narrate to Socrates the story on how the world was created. The kind hearted nature of Protagoras is evident owing to his admission that virtues are teachable and anyone can learn them. Socrates is seen as an undetermined person. He keeps on changing his position on what he exactly wants to know. Additionally, his indecisive nature is evident because he decides to do one thing and he ends up jumping on another one. Socrates' is portrayed to the reader as an impatient person who would prefer all his answers to be short and precise. Protagoras is indeed reasonable and he agrees for each one of them to take turns in the interrogation. The opportunistic character of Protagoras does not escape the eyes of the reader. When he is identified as the first person who will interrogate Socrates, he quickly changes the topic to poems. The ingenious trait of Socrates is clearly portrayed when he deviates from the main meaning of the poem and he ends up giving unreasonable arguments. His argument that lack of knowledge is evil is ironical owing to the fact that he is also ignorant.

I choose this text because it is easier for one to grasp the content and to connect with the characters that the author has chosen. In the same vein, the author has evolved the character throughout the story making the plot simple. The carefully chosen language is evident thus making the book interesting.  In his book, Plato has used two characters Socrates and Protagoras to pass his message to the readers. In contrast of the two, Socrates is portrayed as an impatient, ambitious, ignorant, undetermined, indecisive, and unreasonable character. On his part, Protagoras knowledgeable and intelligent character is evident. His other traits come in handy and they include opportunistic, patient, decisive, reasonable, kind hearted, and intuitive among others. Although the author has used a number of characters in his work, among other elements, it is these two characters; Socrates and Protagoras that mainly attracts the eyes of the reader.

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