A Just Man Should Fear No Death in the Apology by Plato Essay

A Just Man Should Fear No Death in the Apology by Plato Essay

Length: 841 words (2.4 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Strong Essays

Open Document

Essay Preview

Plato’s Apology
The Apology was written by Plato, and relates Socrates’ defense at his trial on charges of corrupting the youth and impiety. Socrates argues that he is innocent of both charges. His defense is ultimately unsuccessful, and he is convicted and sentenced to death. Socrates concludes the Apology by arguing that a just man should have no fear of death.

Socrates defends himself against the charges brought against him by his prosecutor Meletus in two ways. One way consists of a description of Socrates’ motivation and method, which he hopes will explain to the jury why some people, including his prosecutors, dislike him. The second defense consists of Socrates responding directly to the two charges brought against him: “corrupting the young” and impiety, or more specifically, “not believing in the gods in whom the city believes” (p. 28). I’ll address these two lines of defense in turn.

Socrates begins his defense by acknowledging that many people have accused him of “studying things in the sky and below the earth” and of “making the worse into the stronger argument” and teaching these things to others (p. 26). He replies that such accusations are “slanders”; the truth, he continues, is that he does not claim to have any special knowledge of anything in the sky or elsewhere. In support of this, Socrates relates the story of the Oracle at Delphi. The Oracle, who was thought to give voice to the Greek god Apollo, had told Socrates’ friend Chirephon that no man was wiser than Socrates. Surprised by this, Socrates surmises that the only reason the god said this is that Socrates seems to know only that he does not know very much. This, Socrates explains, makes him unlike most other people he meets, who “think [they] kno...

... middle of paper ...

...ng, or it is, as we are told, a change a relocation of the soul” (p. 34). If the dead have no perception, he says, this would be an advantage, for he thinks that the “most pleasant night of sleep” is the one that is sound and completely dreamless, as death would be. On the other hand, if death is a change of place, then this too would be a blessing. After all, Socrates claims, if one goes where the dead are, then one can, he assumes, speak with them. And what could be more enjoyable than speaking with Hesiod, Homer, and other great Greek poets, statesmen, and heroes? Socrates concludes his defense (p. 35) by remarking that his death penalty may actually be a blessing for him, both for the reasons he has just given and because his “divine sign” has not opposed him at any time during his defense, suggesting to Socrates that he has done no wrong in his own defense.

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

Plato 's Version Of The Speech

- Plato, being an admirer and student of Socrates, wrote his version of Socrates’ speech as he defended himself in court against his charges of corrupting the youth, and impiety called The Apology. In comparison, Xenophon also wrote his version of the speech. Seeing as though each author has many supporting details that support their view as far as the outcome of the trial, Plato’s version of his apology may have been somewhat biased. Xenophon, on the other hand, was more at peace with the outcome of the trial....   [tags: Socrates, Plato, Apology, Xenophon]

Strong Essays
1209 words (3.5 pages)

The Apology Of Plato 's Apology Essay example

- Plato’s Apology gives insight to the thoughts and workings of the brilliant mind of Socrates. Everything we know about the philosopher is through the writings and works of his students and followers (Dean, 2014). The Apology is Plato’s version of the speech Socrates gave when he was put on trial. This important piece of literature demonstrates the skill that Socrates possessed in rhetoric, examination, and improvised speech which aided him in disproving the accusations made against him. The Oracle of Delphi, a god, who by nature could not lie, proclaimed that Socrates was the wisest of men (Plato, trans....   [tags: Plato, Knowledge, Philosophy, Wisdom]

Strong Essays
900 words (2.6 pages)

The Republic By Plato And Book X Essay

- The Republic by Plato is a dialogue that discusses the importance of education and truth. Separated into multiple books, the excerpts analyzed were Book VII and Book X. Similar to Euthyphro, the dialogue is spoken by Plato’s teacher, Socrates. The seventh book focuses on a narrative inside a cave, with prisoners that have never stepped foot outside of the cavern. They are also bound by chains directly in front of a wall, with a flame that creates the shadows of “men passing along the wall carrying all sorts of vessels, and statues and figures of animals made of wood and stone and various materials” far behind them (pp. 1)....   [tags: Plato, Truth, Reincarnation, Afterlife]

Strong Essays
937 words (2.7 pages)

Honor in Plato, Sophocles, and Voltaire Essay

- Plato writes of a philosophical man condemned to death in the court of law in The Trial and Death of Socrates. Socrates is punished for preaching of his gods and corrupting the youth of Athens. The next piece of work discussed is Antigone, written by Sophocles. Antigone is a young lady who feels it is her duty and obligation to defy Creon’s rule to properly bury her brother. Lastly, the text of Voltaire’s Candide displays how a man cannot find happiness even in the best of situations. Candide travels the world in the attempt to become a man of wealth and power and reunite with the love of his life....   [tags: plato, socrates, sophocles]

Strong Essays
2304 words (6.6 pages)

Essay Summary Of ' Crito ' By Plato

- Crito is the third out of four dialogues of the last days and trial of a well-known philosopher named Socrates, who never wrote or recorded his beliefs and is only known through the works of Plato, Xenophon, and Aristophanes. Socrates is known for living a simple life; of not being very wealthy or owning many possessions. He is also known to be a gadfly, literally meaning a horsefly, meaning he pesters the citizens of Athens in his mission of seeking the truth. Socrates’ most famous student, Plato, an Athenian aristocrat who founded The Academy and teacher of Aristotle, is the author of the Crito....   [tags: Socrates, Plato, Dialectic, Philosophy]

Strong Essays
1177 words (3.4 pages)

The Apology Of Plato 's Apology Essay

- Many people have gone through their lives conforming their beliefs and practices for the sake of fitting in or for the happiness of others, but Socrates was not one of these people. In “The Apology” Plato shows Socrates unwillingness to conform through a speech given by Socrates while on trial for supposedly corrupting the youth of Athens and believing in false gods. Although the title of the dialogue was labeled “The Apology,” Socrates’ speech was anything but that, it was a defense of himself and his content along his philosophical journey....   [tags: Plato, Philosophy, Socrates, God]

Strong Essays
1001 words (2.9 pages)

Plato's Criticism of Democracy Essay

- Plato's Criticism of Democracy Do not be angry with me for speaking the truth; no man will survive who genuinely opposes you or any other crowd and prevents the occurrence of many unjust and illegal happenings in the city. A man who really fights for justice must lead a private, not a public, life if he is to survive for even a short time. (Apology 31e-32a) These are the words of Socrates, who spoke before the Athenian jury in the trial that would, ultimately, condemn him to his death. Through works such as the Apology and The Republic, we can see Plato’s distaste of the concept of democracy....   [tags: Plato]

Strong Essays
1688 words (4.8 pages)

Essay about Plato And The Spiritual Realm

- Plato believes in the absolute ideas, of the spiritual realm, and the belief of a higher power. Unlike Plato, Socrates, believes in the ideas on earth rather than the spiritual belief. This forces distance between Plato and the teachings of Socrates. Not only that, but also he believes that the ideal of society is the ideal of perfectionism in the spiritual realm. Plato’s views branch from the teachings he received growing up, and in growing up learning and interpreting on his own became key. Augustine believes in salvation and that is by God’s grace through faith that people are saved....   [tags: Plato, Philosophy, God, Augustine of Hippo]

Strong Essays
1732 words (4.9 pages)

The Genius of Plato Essay

- Plato was born to an aristocratic family in Athens, Greece. When he was a child his father, Ariston, who was believed to be descended from the early kings of Athens died, and his mother, Perictione married Pyrilampes. As a young man Plato was always interested in political leadership and eventually became a disciple of Socrates. He followed his philosophy and his dialectical style, which is believed to be the search for truth through questions, answers, and additional questions. After witnessing the death of Socrates at the hands of the Athenian democracy in 399 B.C., Plato left Athens and continued to travel to Italy, Sicily, and Egypt....   [tags: Plato Biography]

Strong Essays
1795 words (5.1 pages)

Plato's Apology Essay

- Plato's Apology Plato’s Apology is the story of the trial of Socrates, the charges brought against him and his maintaining of his own innocence throughout the process. At the onset of the trial, Socrates appears to challenging the charges, which included corrupting the youth, challenging belief in the gods that were accepted and reveled by the State, and introducing a new religious focus, but also belittles his own significance and suggesting that he will not attempt to disprove that he participated in the actions maintained by the court....   [tags: Apology by Plato]

Strong Essays
1076 words (3.1 pages)