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Ring of Gyges


The Ring of Gyges is mentioned in Plato's Republic as a device to convey the belief that justice is a social construction of necessity. In Plato's example, a shepherd named Gyges discovers a cave that has been revealed by a recent earthquake. Upon exploring the cave he finds a tomb and on the dead man's finger a ring which Gyges takes. He discovers that the ring makes the wearer invisible when adjusted, and armed with this knowledge he secures an audience with the king but once inside the palace seduces the queen, murders the king, and takes his place.

The implication is that a person would cease to be moral if they no longer had to fear the consequences of their actions and the only truly virtuous man would be one who refused to use the ring in the first place.

Fantasy, Greece, Ring


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