republic (books 6 - 10)
poets make when stripped of the colors which music puts upon
them, and recited in simple prose.
Yes, he said.
They are like faces which were never really beautiful, but
only blooming; and now the bloom of youth has passed away
Here is another point: The imitator or maker of the image
knows nothing of true existence; he knows appearances only.
Am I not right?
Then let us have a clear understanding, and not be satisfied
with half an explanation.
Of the painter we say that he will paint reins, and he will
paint a bit?
And the worker in leather and brass will make them?
But does the painter know the right form of the bit and reins?
Nay, hardly even the workers in brass and leather who make
them; only the horseman who knows how to use them--he
knows their right form.
And may we not say the same of all things?
That there are three arts which are concerned with all things:
one which uses, another which makes, a third which imitates
And the excellence or beauty or truth of every structure,
animate or inanimate, and of every action of man, is relative
to the use for which nature or the artist has intended them.
Then the user of them must have the greatest experience of
them, and he must indicate to the maker the good or bad quali-
ties which develop themselves in use; for example, the flute-
player will tell the flute-maker which of his flutes is satisfactory
to the performer; he will tell him how he ought to make them,
and the other will attend to his instructions?
The one knows and therefore speaks with authority about