There's something that came up to my mind while i was reading this book, why didn't plato write it in such a form that it was more subtle? like, we know that the good city is an allegory to men's souls, yet he keeps talking about the soul itself throughout the book, wouldn't it be more aesthetically pleasing if he only wrote about the good city leaving it to us to conclude that he's talking about the soul and about individuals rather than just cities?
>wouldn't it be more aesthetically pleasing
Are you sure aesthetic pleasure is the standard you mean to use? Your suggestion that he leave it to us to figure out doesn't (at least in some obvious way) seem to be an example of a result of writing in some aesthetically pleasing form.
My other question is: have you tried to puzzle out for yourself why the dialogue takes a subject that seems to be most strongly related to the soul, and discusses it as it seems related to politics? That is, have you tried to figure out why the one must be presented through the lens of the other?
I'm not sure of the answer myself, but an interesting reading could result from going through and only looking at what Glaucon and Adeimantus say. They, Socrates, and everyone else present--they've all got souls, right? What are their souls like? I mean, as best as you can make out--you could either consider the explicit discussions of the soul later in the book, or work out what sort of *people* they seem to be--they've both distinguished themselves in battle (very important), they're both sons of an aristocratic family, Glaucon seems better educated in music and math then Adeimantus, Adeimantus seems concerned with honor a bit more than Glaucon, etc. etc.
Another set of passages to consider: 435c-d and 504b, wherein Socrates makes a strange comment about how the present conversation is in fact only and easier and shorter way, compared to a longer and harder one. How might that affect the whole conversation?
(There are two nice articles on the subject, the second of which suggests in the beginning that the very means by which they've started to investigate Justice, using the city as an image of the soul, is a shorter and easier way:
Mitchell Miller - Beginning the "Longer Way"
Catherine Rowett - Pretty Short Cuts in Plato's Republic
Mate, I can't remember the exact name but my neighbor's friend (Desmond Lee I think) did a translation and It's just perfect. It gets the ideas he's describing all good whilst making all the dudes seem like crotchety-yet-tounge in cheek men. It's fuckin' brill.