Plato's "The Allegory of the Cave" as Means to Explain "The Apology"

1672 Words Nov 26th, 2012 7 Pages
Michael Ehrecke
Plato’s “The Allegory of the Cave” As Means to Explain “The Apology” Authors sometimes use one work to explain or elaborate on the intricacies of another piece of theirs. Plato is one such example as he uses “The Allegory of the Cave” as means to better decipher “The Apology of Socrates.” Plato himself never appears in either dialogue, but it is clear that he disagrees with how Socrates’s trial ended and hopes to prevent another unneeded execution in the future. In “The Apology of Socrates,” Socrates is accused of not recognizing the gods of the state and of corrupting the youth of Athens. Despite the many instances in which these allegations are challenged and, quite frankly, disproved, Socrates is still put to death.
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Frustrated, Socrates dismisses his accuser with a haughty huff: “Such nonsense, Meletus, could only have been intended by you as a trial of me. You have put this into the indictment because you had nothing real of which to accuse me…. I have said enough in answer to the charge of Meletus: any elaborate defence is unnecessary…” Despite his explanation and showcase of unfair assumptions, Socrates is sentenced to death and is eventually executed. Ironically enough, Socrates basically predicts his own fate as he explains the freed man’s role in the cave scenario: “They would laugh at him and say that he had gone up only to come back with his sight ruined… If they could lay hands on the man who was trying to set them free and lead them up, they would kill him.” Socrates being put to death was a huge mistake on the Athenian council members’ part. By challenging other intellectuals, Socrates is simply applying the definition of philosophy to his own and others’ lives. He believes it is a person’s duty to use his rationality to question himself and others in hopes of living more justly and truthfully. He also eradicates the charges of not recognizing the gods of the state and of corrupting the youth of Athens. After explaining why so many people have him as an enemy, he declares that he will never stop in his search for seeking the Good, which he believes is the gods’ purpose for him: “And so I go my way, obedient to the god, and make

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