Forbidden Secrets and the Ring of Gyges

Regarding the charm of people who are “clueless” regarding gays, I wonder of deep down people yearn for the forbidden intrigue of times long past where everything had to be in secret. Doing things which are strictly forbidden is more thrilling than doing things which are permitted and acceptable. I am suddenly reminded of The Ring Of Gyges in Book II of Plato’s Republic

It granted its owner the power to become invisible at will. Through the story of the ring, The Republic discusses whether a typical person would be moral if he did not have to fear the consequences of his actions.

After an earthquake, a cave was revealed in a mountainside where Gyges was feeding his flock. Entering the cave, Gyges discovered that it was in fact a tomb with a bronze horse containing a corpse, larger than that of a man, who wore a golden ring, which Gyges pocketed. He discovered that the ring gave him the power to become invisible by adjusting it. Gyges then arranged to be chosen as one of the messengers who reported to the king as to the status of the flocks. Arriving at the palace, Gyges used his new power of invisibility to seduce the queen, and with her help he murdered the king, and became king of Lydia himself. King Croesus, famous for his wealth, was Gyges’ descendant.

I wonder of Croesus’s wealth is some kind of metaphor for old Republican family wealth.


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