I have recently become very interested in philosophy and have recently decided to work through Plato's Republic. However, I am already a little confused with Book I. Ideally; I should like to understand Book I before I move on.
What confuses me is how Socrates presents his arguments, or rather how he undermines the arguments of others. It almost seems that all of what Socrates says is trickery. I think a good example of what I'm saying is the "Analogy of the Arts". Socrates uses the analogy to convince Polemarchus that "justice is the art which gives good to friends and evil to enemies". So far, this analogy seems to make sense and I would agree with Socrates. However, Socrates goes on to use the analogy to make it appear that Justice is of no use in times of peace. Really? At this point I believe that the analogy has been taken too far and has been taken in such literal understanding that it has been stretched beyond context.
Another problem I am having is how specific Socrates is getting in comparison to the rest of the Republic. For example, Socrates asks if people are friends if they seem honest or are really honest but do not seem so. Its fine that Socrates is interested about Justice as it relates to friendship as it relates to honesty, but he makes no mention of any other characteristics of friendship in the Republic. Since he is so specific but leaves out many other specifics, it makes it seem that his argument for Justice would only hold under these specific investigations and would be useless against someone who has never read the Republic.
I'm unsure of how to ask a clear cut questions that covers everything I laid out above. The best question I can muster is: Is there a trick or philosophy rudiment I am missing in fully understanding Socrates use of logic?