The chosen passage about Socrates denying his place in corrupting the youth from The Apology is important to the overall understanding of The Apology and the trial, because Socrates trial was brought on over this claim and if Socrates did not corrupt the youth, or did so unwillingly, then he is innocent and should not be put on trial for such actions. This passage helps in the overall understanding of why Socrates trial was brought on, and explains how he is innocent in this accusation.
The Apology was what was being said by Socrates on trial, but was written by Plato. Plato was one of Socrates’ students and attended the trial. He wrote everything that happened before, during, and after the trial in the form of dialogues called Euthyphro, Apology, and Meno, along with others. This trial took place in 399 B.C.E. in Athens, Greece. Socrates has been put on trial for both corrupting the youth, and impiety. He was accused of corrupting the youth by teaching the youth impiety. Socrates disputes this, he states that he is not impious at all; he believes in the Gods the city believes in, but he studies them and questiones them. Therefore, if he was not studying impious things, he could not have been teaching the youth impious things, and as a result not corrupting the youth.
“Either I do not corrupt the young or, if I do, it is unwillingly, and you are lying in either case. Now if I corrupt them unwillingly, the law does not require you to bring people to court for such unwilling wrongdoings, but to get hold of them privately, to instruct them and exhort them; for clearly if I learn better, I shall cease to do what I am doing unwillingly. You, however, have been avoiding my company and were unwilling to inst...
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In conclusion, Socrates’ whole defense against his accusations and trial was that he did so unwillingly, if at all. The argument Socrates makes denying his place in corrupting the youth from The Apology is important to the overall understanding of The Apology because Socrates trial was brought on over this claim and if Socrates did not corrupt the youth, or did so unwillingly, then he is innocent and should not be put on trial for such actions. This statement makes The Apology what it is, and without it he has no stable defense. Socrates should not have been put on trial as proven in his argument, and should have had the proper coaching to tell him what he is doing wrong. Socrates receiving the death penalty over something he did not do was unjust and was against Socrates as a person who studies philosophy, rather than him doing something illegal.
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