The Apology Of Socrates By Plato

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In Plato 's “The Apology of Socrates”, Socrates is charged with not accepting the gods recognized by the state, devising new gods, and corrupting the youth of Athens. However, the word "apology" in the title is not our modern understanding of the word. The name of the speech stems from the Greek word "apologia," which translates as a speech made in defense. Thus, “The Apology of Socrates” is an account of the speech Socrates makes at the trial in which he defends himself, not apologizes. (The Apology) (SparkNotes Editors) He begins his defense by saying that his prosecutors are dishonest, and that he will prove it. He explains that his behavior stems from a prophecy by the oracle at Delphi, which claimed that he was the wisest of all men. Socrates concluded that he must be wiser than other men only in that he knows that he knows nothing. Socrates explains that he considered it his responsibility to interrogate and expose presumed "wise" men’s false wisdom as ignorance. His actions earned him much admiration among the youth of Athens, but much hatred from the men he humiliated. Socrates then proceeds to interrogate Meletus, the man primarily responsible for prosecuting Socrates, and completely embarrasses him by exposing his false wisdom. Socrates compares himself to a pest stinging a lazy horse, which is the city of Athens. Socrates claims that without him the state is likely to drift into an eternal sleep, but with his pestering guidance the state can be awakened from its denial. Socrates is found guilty and sentenced to death. He impassively accepts the verdict, because he believes that no one but the gods know what happens after death, so it would be ridiculous to fear what someone does not know. (The Apology) In a famous qu... ... middle of paper ... ...eing a wicked corruptor of the youth, but a blessing sent by the gods. Socrates is doing good for the city, in that he criticizes and question things that other may not scrutinize as corrupt or evil. Socrates teaches the youth his way of positive and constructive way of philosophy. He exposes “wise” men and the youth begin to follow in his footsteps because they are not longer “napping”, as Socrates would say. This isn’t evil as Meletus and Anytus claims, because these men are not actually “wise” but rather ignorant and narrow-minded. It is not his fault that the youth took an interest to his philosophy on life. Even though Socrates was sentenced to death, he believed and testified “I am not accustomed to think that I deserve anything bad.” Socrates was attempting to do good and awake the city of Athens from its ignorant ways, not hurt it (The Apology). (The Apology)
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