Plato’s Apology Argumentative Essay
Socrates is the great philosopher of his time and his thoughts are learnt by modern people because his virtue is still the item of the agenda. However he didn’t write his ideas thanks to Plato, his student, humanity has a great opportunity to learn about him and his philosophy. His trial and his speech of defense made me rethink the values of life, take care of the soul. After learning his trial I argue that he could have provided better arguments for his defense.
Socrates had to overcome two different types of prejudices: the old and new. The old prejudice was set by the plays of Aristophanes (“The Clouds”) as Socrates was an evil-doer, who searched into things under the earth and in heaven, and he made the worse appear the better cause; and he taught these falsities to others (Plato..& T.J. West & G.S. West., 1998). Socrates explained the reason of his philosophy purpose and shared the history of the oracle of Delphi which made difference in his life. He wanted people to understand the welfare of the soul. He understood his enemies disliked him as he found most of the reputed authorities foolish while inferior people were really wiser. The new prejudices that included impiety and the corruption of the youth were charged by Meletus, Anytus and others (Plato..& West T.J. & West G.S., 1998). As long as he was examining people he attracted young people’s attention and his ideas about heaven above were popular with students who asked their leaders to discover heavens. Socrates explained if he did corrupt the youth he did it unintentionally so it was impossible to punish for this. In addition he proved that he believed in gods because if someone believes in the children of the gods, then he believes in the gods. He believed in the spirits which were the children of gods therefore he believed in gods. However he was sent to death just a couple of years before his natural death.
Keeping in mind all these accusations he should have acted better but he went out of his way to antagonize the jury commenting certain people and ideas which were offensive to the jury. He didn’t focus on that atheism was not illegal in Athens and surely not punishable by law and he never mentioned people’s right to free speech. Still after all his attempts to turn the jury against him votes were relatively close 280 to 230, the trial entered its penalty phase and there was a chance to propose a punishment. Here as Plato writes he made extremely “vulgar” suggestion and wanted to be treated as a hero, be given a place of honor and meals till the end of his life in the city. At the end he was sentenced to death.
It is concluded that Socrates wanted the death penalty because he believed if he used the advantages future generation wouldn’t remember him as he was. He explained that death was good; it was the right chose to explain people not to afraid of death.
West, Thomas G, Grace S. West, Plato, Plato, Plato, and Aristophanes. Four Texts on Socrates: Plato's Euthyphro, Apology, and Crito, and Aristophanes' Clouds. Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 1998. Print.