Essay The Apology Of Plato 's Five Dialogues

Essay The Apology Of Plato 's Five Dialogues

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Socrates could easily be viewed as suicidal due the portrayal put forth in Plato’s Five Dialogues. First, there is the Apology. Numerous times Socrates was given the opportunity to defend himself in a manner that would be persuading to the jury, but he seemed to have sullied each and every chance. A compelling argument for why his actions were not the crimes he was accused of committing was given, yet he did so with harsh logic and never with an appeal to emotions. He believes such appeals, for instance, bringing his family to court, would be beneath him while acknowledging it would have aided his case with, “you will more readily convict a man who preforms these pitiful dramatics in court… than a man who keeps quiet” (Plato 39). Socrates also seemingly attempted to anger the jury with his jesting counter penalty of “to be fed in the Pyrtaneum” and a later statement “there is good hope death is a blessing,” demonstrating his lack of fear for their punishment of death (Plato 40, 43). Crito follows in which Socrates’ friend, Crito, made plans for Socrates to escape into exile in order to avoid execution, but Socrates refused and chose to remain imprisoned while awaiting his fate. Lastly, there is the Phaedo, the dialogue in which Socrates actually consumed the hemlock by having taken the cup “quite cheerfully” and “then drained it calmly and easily” (Plato 153). Together these collections allude to the conclusion that Socrates had no desire for self preservation, a rather unusual disposition for a protagonist to possess. Thus, Plato had to rationalize Socrates’ actions and does so in the Phaedo. I would argue that with this justification Plato creates a standard for judging when suicide is acceptable that is similar to the convictio...


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...elates suicide using gods in the position of masters and the humans as their slaves. It is wrong for a slave to go against the wishes of their master and consequently, it is wrong for one to kill them self if the gods have not indicated it is time for the person to die. This is a different fundamental principal than what is currently used to judge whether suicide is justifiable or not, which tends to draw upon more of the individual or societal standpoint, but using the logic of either arrives to the same conclusion. Suicide for a cause, suicide due to an illness, whether terminal or chronic, and suicide because of depression, would all be viewed similarly by Plato and by people today. Thus, if there was the question of what Plato would have to say in regards to whether to kill oneself is right or not, the answer is most likely exists as the currently held doctrine.

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