preview

Socrates Apology Analysis

Good Essays
A. Under trial for corrupting youth and not worshiping the Gods in Athens, Socrates takes an attitude that many might interpret as pompous during his trial. Rather than apologise, as Plato’s dialogue title Apology suggests, Socrates explains why he is right and those who accused him are mistaken. He speaks in a plain manner, as if the jury is just another of his followers. Socrates first cites the profit at Delphi for why he behaves in ways that lead to him being under scrutiny of the law. He explains that his friend, Chaerephon, went to ask the oracle if anyone is wiser than Socrates and the oracle responded no (21a). Socrates then explains his interpretation of this being that he is wise in knowing that he does not know certain things, where…show more content…
He applies this logic to mean that he must go around Athens and show others that they are not actually wise, so that they can become intelligent like him. As a result, he feels he is helping the society of Athens as a whole. By a small number, Socrates is found guilty and the jury comes to a decision to put Socrates to death. To further his display of haughty behavior Socrates’ response is to say in a mostly joking manner that the city should be giving him a medal of honor. He continues on to reject exile and prison time, suggesting that he pay a fine. Socrates’ reaction is unlike what is to be expected. He believes that it is ridiculous to fear the after-life because it does not make sense to fear things he does not know (29c). When given a chance to defend himself Socrates doesn’t cry, beg, or bring family matters into the courtroom, thinking it better to die after an honorable defense than live on against his own…show more content…
In Plato’s dialogue Crito, you can find Crito offering escape from demise to Socrates. This would be enough to make most men succumb to their survival instinct and flea but Socrates takes a different path. Socrates reasons through the escape with Crito. He logically comes to the fact that one shouldn’t do wrong when wronged or do harm when harmed (49b-c). He then draws the conclusion that escaping prison would harm the citizens, laws, and whole city of Athens (50b). As Athens is his home, Socrates feels he owes everything to his city, he feels compelled to follow the laws and decisions of its courts. He likens a home city to a parent, saying that to bring violence against one’s city would be sacrilegious as it would be with a parent (51c). In Socrates’ mind he would not wrong Athens because it made him the man he stands to be. All the knowledge, wisdom, and high regard he holds is because of Athens, and so he refuses to
Get Access