Socrates was a Greek philosopher who is considered the founder of western philosophy. He is so well known because of his method of questioning everything. He was a rather grotesque looking man but had all the youths of the society followed him, and hung on his every word. “Socrates always emphasized the importance of the mind over the relative unimportance of the human body” (Timmons 1). He was hated by the elders of Athens for this.
Socrates was set to a trial in front of 500 males over the age of thirty who would decide his fate. He was accused on two charge, corrupting the youth and impiety. The young men of the wealthier class have been attracted to him because they enjoy listening to the way in which he exposes the ignorance of those who claim to be wise. This irritated the elders because they believed Socrates was exploiting the youth, even though Socrates did not entice the youth to listen to him. The other charge was impiety, lack of allegiance for a religion. He was charged for this because he questioned the gods that were a part of the Athens culture. He was also accused of creating new deities, but he did not actually do that he just imagined the traditional gods in a different way.
The trial had started and Socrates was already in a bad position. He had no knowledge of the legal system and even asked the courts to pardon him if he starts to conversate in a familiar tone. He continues to say he will only speak the truth. The problem was Socrates was a very straight forward person and it could come off as him being disrespectful. He also did not prepare for the trial so everything he said was unscripted, unlike the prosecution who had rehearsed their speech. The trial moved forward and S...
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Plato’s account of the trial was biased towards Socrates because he was a follower of what he stood for, but the verdict makes sense for the prosecution. The charges were trumped up, but they were still legitimate charges against him. Socrates defense was not as strong as it could have been. He is a wise individual who could of wrote a spectacular defense for himself and escaped a guilty verdict and in turn death. In a sense, Socrates trial was a unique way for a man to commit suicide.
Socrates use of knowledge to show the simplicity of people thinking did not help him during the trial. He was not liked but Athens legal system failed and an innocent man was sent to his death. In my opinion, Socrates should not of been perverted by the legal system the way he was. He tried but did not succeed in defending himself on the charges of corrupting the youth, and impiety.
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