In this paper I argue that by reading Plato's Republic through the ancient Greek genre of the satyr-play, new insights into his project emerge. I start by showing that the dialogue abounds with a number of hitherto unrecognized satyr-play elements. Second, I argue that the unique form of serious play, characteristic of the ancient Greek satyr-play, helps to explain the kind of stance that Plato hoped to pass on to his readers, which includes a combination of suspicion and engagement, distance and proximity, humor and seriousness in relation to any authoritative utterance, including those coming from his character, Socrates.

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