The excerpt represents the core issue or deciding factor on which you must meditate, and is drawn from Ion by Plato:|
of many good poets; and especially of Homer, who is the best and most
divine of them; and to understand him, and not merely learn his words by
rote, is a thing greatly to be envied. And no man can be a rhapsode who
does not understand the meaning of the poet. For the rhapsode ought to
interpret the mind of the poet to his hearers, but how can he interpret him
well unless he knows what he means? All this is greatly to be envied.
ION: Very true, Socrates; interpretation has certainly been the most
laborious part of my art; and I believe myself able to speak about Homer
better than any man; and that neither Metrodorus of Lampsacus, nor
Stesimbrotus of Thasos, nor Glaucon, nor any one else who ever was, had as
good ideas about Homer as I have, or as many.