beings, by means of which they "first and last are," τελέως ὂν (597 a). But if the craftsman does not pro-duce precisely this εἶδος in itself, but in each case merely looks to it as something already brought to him; and if εἶδος is what is properly in being among beings; then the craftsman does not produce the Being of beings either. Rather, he always produces this or that being—οὐκ ... ὃ ἔστι κλίνη, ἀλλὰ κλίνην τινά, "not the what-being of the bedframe, but some bedframe or other."

So it is that the craftsman, who grapples with a reality you can hold in your hands, is not in touch with beings themselves, ὃν τῇ ἀληθείᾳ. Therefore, Socrates says, μηδὲν ἄρα θαυμάζωμεν εἰ καὶ τοῦτο (τὸ ἔργον τοῦ δημιουργοῦ) ἀμυδρόν τι τυγχάνει ὂν πρὸς ἀλήθειαν. "In no way would it astonish us, therefore, if even this (what is manufactured by the craftsman) proves to be something obscure and hazy in relation to unconcealment." The wood of the bedframe, the amassed stone of the house, in each case bring the ἰδέα forth into appearance; yet such pro-duction dulls and darkens the original luster of the ἰδέα. Hence the house which we call "real" is in a certain way reduced to the level of an image of the house in a mirror or painting. The Greek word ἀμυδρόν is difficult to translate: for one thing it means the darkening and distorting of what comes to presence. But then such darkening, over against what is undistorted, is something lusterless and feeble; it does not command the inner power of the presencing of beings themselves.

[183] Only now do the speakers attain the position from which Socrates may demand that they try to illuminate the essence of μίμησις on the basis of what they have so far discussed. To that end he summarizes and describes in a more pointed way what they have already ascertained.

The approach to their considerations established that there are, for example, many individual bedframes set up in houses. Such a "many" is easy to see, even when we look around us in a lackadaisical sort of way. Therefore, Socrates (Plato) says at the beginning of the discussion, with a very profound, ironic reference to what is to follow and which we are now on the verge of reaching (596 a), πολλά τοι ὀξύτερον βλεπόντων ἀμβλύτερον ὁρῶντες πρότεροι εἶδον. "A variety and multiplicity is