The Charges Against Socrates

Good Essays
The Charges Against Socrates

The charges against Socrates were brought upon him by a man names Meletus. Meletus was a young man that Socrates did not know very well. These charges brought on by Meletus caused the indictment of Socrates. One of the charges in the affidavit written by Meletus against Socrates is that he is "corrupting the youth." Another charge that is brought upon Socrates is that of he is making up new Gods and disregarding the old Gods the Athenians believe in. These were the charges brought on Socrates.

Socrates starts his defense by addressing the jury and telling them that his accusers had a prepared speech, while Socrates' speech will be completely improvised. Socrates continued to further disassociate himself from the opponents by telling the jury to forgive him for his conversational tone in his speech, for that's how he best speaks. He also asks the jury to keep an open mind and not concentrate on how his defense is delivered, but the substance of his defense. Socrates tells the jury that he is not a sophist. Sophists were known for charging fees for their work, and Socrates does not charge a fee for his words. His next decides to cross-examine Meletus. Basically Socrates turns the tables on his accuser and accuses Meletus of "dealing frivolously with serious matters." Socrates says that the youth he supposedly corrupts follows him around on their own free will, because the young men enjoy hearing people and things being questioned. In this line of questioning of Meletus, Socrates makes him look very contradictory to his statements in his affidavit. Socrates then moves on to the second part of his defense. Moving on to the second charge that he does not believe in the Gods accepted ...

... middle of paper ...

...nse and cross-examination of Meletus, he hits on contradictions in the affidavit that Meletus wrote. Over and over again Meletus is made out to look stupid and contradictory of himself. In no way would I believe any of Meletus' statements. Unlike Socrates, when questioned, Meletus could not come up with a swaying or even put together answer. Socrates answered the charges clearly; he gave precise arguments reasons why he is not guilty. Meletus could not even back up his charges. Throughout his argument Socrates shows his wisdom and intelligence. Socrates has not hurt anyone in his life; he has only gone on his way questioning people because that is what he does best. It was not his fault that people took an interest in what Socrates was doing; and it was not Socrates' fault that people started following his lead. Therefore, I would plan on voting not guilty.
Get Access