The Usefulness Of Socrates In Plato's Apology

848 Words 4 Pages
Socrates makes clear in Plato’s Apology that he believes that he has lived a good and just life. Making that point, after all, is the grounds of Socrates’ ἀπολογία in opposition to the charges that Meletus and Anytus have levied against him. He preludes the body of his ἀπολογία by first warning against the ῥητορικός employed by his accusers and then claiming to be false all of the rumors surrounding his disbelief in the gods, which arose out of his propensity to ask abstract and obscure questions about the nature of people and the world (Ap. 18 B-19 A). He also makes clear that he does not take money in exchange for teaching, but describes a variety of others who do (Ap. 19 E-20 D).
Socrates then, however, begins his ἀπολογία in earnest by
…show more content…
30 C), as he is able to declare with confidence that they are lesser men than he. Furthermore, as he is certain that he has done no wrong but that, rather, Meletus and Anytus have, Socrates perceives his accusers as experiencing more harm than he. This is due to Socrates’ belief that the act of doing injustice upon another is worse than having injustice done upon oneself (Gorg. 467-468, 478). This notion extends also to the mortal finality of the case; if Socrates truly is guilty, even though he believes he is not, then receiving his punishment is still a better outcome for him than getting away free of consequence. Further, the reality of Meletus and Anytus falsely accusing Socrates and not facing legal repercussions condemns them to a worse fate in Socrates’ opinion than Socrates himself, even if he is wrongly accused and punished. Perhaps the most important results, however, are those related to the absolute finality of the case – those related to the end of Socrates’ mortality.
Socrates – believing in the gods despite the accusations for which he is sentenced to death that he does not believe in the them – thinks that, regardless of the verdict that the mortal assembly presiding over his case decides upon, the final judges he will encounter will find that he is innocent. Socrates thoroughly believes that he has lived a just and good life (which he devoted a significant portion of his ἀπολογία explaining and attempting to prove) and that, as such, the demigods that judge him after his death will render a verdict which reflects

Related Documents

Related Topics