After bearing witness to all this, Er watches as every soul is assigned a spirit for protection throughout their lives. They then head for the Lethe, the river of forgetfulness, where every soul is to drink a little from it. Those whose wisdom escaped them drink more than enough and all the fragments of acquired memories are swept away. Er then wakes up after twelve earth days, and finds himself on his funeral-pyre his body not affected by the fangs of decay. He reports all that he has seen to the people present (Richardson 113-133).
The Role of the Myth
Plato in this text uses the myth of Er to teach on the relevance of doing good not just for goodness’ sake but mostly because there is a reward. The mythos speaks of an afterlife of a thousand years where pain and suffering are accorded tenfold to those who made others suffer on earth while the heavens and wondrous gifts are promised to those who were kind and gentle to other animals and human in the earthly world (Halliwell).