The Death Of Socrates: Plato's Role In Athenian Democracy

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Ancient Athens, the birthplace of modern politics, had several political transitions, notably from a monarchy, to an oligarchy, to the introduction of true democracy to it’s citizens by Cleisthenes. However, Cliesthenes, the ruler during this time, was not the sole participant in the beginning of democracy in Athens. His predecessors, Solon and Pisistratus, laid very important groundwork such as outlawing debt slavery and attempted to equate the power between the rich and the poor, respectively. Solon especially was praised by “fourth-century Greeks who regarded [him] as the father of Athenian democracy” (Ehrenberg, 67). Despite this, Cliesthenes is deemed to be the one to lay the last major foundation to pave the way in Athenian democracy; …show more content…
Although the saint-like persona Plato places upon Socrates when describing him is the most readily available interpretation, cannot be passed over as a perfect form of representation. While Plato chooses to present the image that Socrates posses no flaws and does no wrong, his human nature cannot be ignored. By blindly trusting one of Socrates’ most successful students aids in a not completely accurate and almost god-like representation of a simple man. Stone (1983) argues that Socrates’ faults, most notably his arrogance, are the foremost cause of his conviction. This narration depicts another view on the life and teachings of Socrates by showing as someone who cannot by sympathised but the people of Athens rather than the political martyr Plato depicts him as. By presenting Socrates as an arrogant, elderly man who antagonised his own jury, (CITE) the verdict of the Athenians appears less hypocritical and wrongfully accusatory. This verdict can be interpreted as a human error and a part of the democratic system rather than an core problem with the Athenian democracy and the intrinsic values which it holds to the highest degree to the

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