When reading books for academic purposes, students are always searching for an underlying meaning, something deeper than the author's main point, or something that can be found in a summary. In reading Horace's Satires and Epistles and Plato The Symposium, a very ironic discovery can be made. Socrates and Horace have apparently been granted authority by their immediate audience on their respective topics, however they use others to reveal their struggles with living the ideal life that they teach. This shows that they too are human and also must continually be taught. .
Horace uses his satires to expose human folly. He does not, however, forget to examine himself. In Book I of his Satires, he uses other people to expose the foolishness of humans. He japes about superstitions by telling a silly story about scaring witches in a cemetery by farting during their ceremony. This book is rather enjoyable to read because it allows readers to relate Horace's stories to their own experiences with everyday foolishness. He uses humor to expose moral faults and folly because laughter may lessen the pain of the truth. Horace also brings to light moral faults, such as sexual immorality and unhealthy views of wealth. He uses these to show the dangers of extremist living and the importance of moderation. He warns against adultery because "all that gets you is trouble (Horace I. 2. 79)" and a damaged reputation. However, sleeping with prostitutes to avoid adultery is equally as foolish because it is expensive and also detrimental to your name. What does it matter if you do not sleep with others wives if you ruin yourself with prostitutes? Also on the issue of money, use moderation. Money's value rests in buying things that are necessary. If you save everything, and are a miser, you will only bring constant worry on yourself. A fire or a thief could easily claim everything you have and you would be left with nothing.