The Last Days Of Socrates Character Analysis

Superior Essays
The Last Days of Socrates is a collection of dialogues written by Plato about his former teacher Socrates. Within the dialogues, the character of Socrates is built through his actions and his interactions with various people. While Plato is clearly intending to write about one clear character, his teacher Socrates, when analyzing the text there are visible inconsistencies about Socrates and his beliefs. Specifically, when comparing Socrates’ actions in the Apology, it is evident that his behavior is contradictory to that of his actions in the Crito. Despite his attitude towards government in the Apology, Socrates appears to value the Laws of Athens and morality over his own life as proven by his actions in the Crito.
In the Apology, after having
…show more content…
In the Apology Socrates is only concerned about himself and doesn 't even think about the polity as a whole. Socrates’ defense in the Apology appears immature and extremely ineffective as he not only loses his case but also is sentenced to death. His character is drastically contrasted in the Crito because it appears as though Socrates is a new person. The Socrates in the Crito is humble and deeply respects Athens as shown by his refusal to leave prison. It is peculiar that Socrates’ is so disrespectful of the state in the Apology and yet in the Crito all he talks of is Athens excellency “your country is something far more precious,more venerable,more sacred, and held in greater honour...” (Plato 91). Socrates varying behavior also raises the question of why he fought the charges against him and if he truly respected the state of Athens would he have not simply accepted his fate out of respect? However, it is clear that after a close reading of both dialogues, Socrates values the government over his own life and has an established respect for the systems in place. It is evident that Socrates’ was only defending himself in the Apology and he was not intentionally being disrespectful. While Socrates’ action of defending himself can also be viewed as disrespectful to the court, Socrates had such high regard for the government and the judicial process that it would have been an insult to the system if he had been wrongfully

Related Documents

  • Great Essays

    “Crito” and the beginning parts of “Phaedo” portray Socrates as somebody who has entirely “given up” on life. A plan of escape is presented to Socrates in full confidence- to clarify, “confidence” in both connotations meaning the plan was more or less fool-proof too- and still, he refuses. His foundation, in this case, is for altruistic reasons. Escaping would be unjust, he tells Crito, and so would injure his soul. This justification is hard to believe for some readers considering that he argued against the existence of definite definitions of just and unjust and a professional in knowledge of all their features so profusely in “Euthyphro”.…

    • 1318 Words
    • 6 Pages
    Great Essays
  • Improved Essays

    Rather, he was condemned for continuing to be a model of virtue and not succumbing to what the court would normally see from these sort of cases: “wailing and lamenting, and doing and saying many other things unworthy of me [Socrates], as I affirm -- such things as you have been accustomed to hear from others” (Apo. 38e). Socrates goes on to say, “I much prefer to die having made my defense speech in this way than to live in that way”. Just as Socrates has been proving that he has lived in truth and virtue throughout the matters in which he has been unjustly charged, so he also wishes to die in truth instead of hypocrisy. Socrates is also assured that this truth will not die with him, as he states that the youth who have listened to him will disagree with the men of Athens, and they will be even more “indignant”.…

    • 764 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Improved Essays

    The laws are determined by the many, therefore, they reflect the opinion of the many--something that Crito respects. Unlike Crito, Socrates disregards the opinion of the many. Since the laws reflect the opinion of the many, there is no way that Socrates can truly respect the laws (Lecture October 12). Socrates uses this fundamental difference between the two of them to his advantage, knowing that philosophical discussion and reasoning will not be effective in convincing Crito that he should stay in jail because philosophy is very foreign to him. Therefore, he uses the perspective of the laws to show Crito that he should not flee, since Crito relates much more with laws than he does with philosophy.…

    • 1060 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Superior Essays

    Socrates’ trial and eventual death sentence in Plato’s Apology consisted of unexpected claims as well as unorthodox methods that left many readers questioning Socrates’ motives. Rather than adhering to social norms and working to get out of his current situation, Socrates chose to use the trial as a stage to execute his duty to the city—a duty that led him to dissent from the immoralities within Athenian society through questioning and educating the crowd on moral behavior. Plato demonstrates Socrates’ duty to Athens is to hold society to the highest moral law, and in doing so he is led to both question and educate society on the immoral practices within it. In critiquing these wrongdoings, he dissents from the demands, expectations, and customs…

    • 1313 Words
    • 6 Pages
    Superior Essays
  • Improved Essays

    Crito attempts to argue and reason with Socrates. Crito argues that he would lose an irreplaceable friend, reflect badly on Socrates’ friends and refusing his friends’ help, aiding his enemies, abandoning his children, and taking the easy way out. Socrates questioned Crito if one should care about the opinion of the many, or to only listen to the good and wise men. Socrates believed that one should listen only to the wise men, which is the basis to his response to Crito’s arguments that refusing to escape from prison with his friends’ help would reflect badly on them. He also believes that he should obey the Law of Athens as it is just.…

    • 1012 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Improved Essays

    This is vital in creating a successful society. In Plato’s Republic, Socrates, the wisest of all men, because he knows nothing, questions all men who thought to be wise. In his exploration, he encounters an unconscious society, oblivious to their surroundings, and that are governed by a false wisdom. This shows that knowledge gained through education will not always lead to righteousness, in fact, most of the time it will lead to tyranny and corruption. The elite groups are the ones who rule over the ordinary people.…

    • 703 Words
    • 3 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Improved Essays

    Although Socrates prepared his speech in the Apology to be used in his defense trial, it seems as if Socrates also subtly promoted a manifesto of values that are quite comparable to the values listed in Connecticut College’s Mission Statement and Values. It may be argued that this is purely coincidental, however, Socrates’ speech in the Apology has been and still is a tremendous philosophical influence, thus, it appears more so that Socrates’ speech influenced the Connecticut College’s Mission Statement and Values. However, it is worth mentioning that the College’s Mission Statement was constructed for a unique purpose, thus, certain aspects of the College’s values are uniquely different from that of Socrates. Connecticut College wrote their…

    • 775 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Improved Essays

    Philosophy For The State In the Apology of Socrates and Republic, it is argued that philosophy is beneficial for the state. Advantageous can be considered an outcome that is profitable. A state is an area controlled by a ruler. Therefore, the question is whether philosophy is a reasonable method of ruling an area and in what ways. Taking the side of Socrates and his student Plato, I will show that philosophy is profitable for the state in the following ways with a focus on civilian’s behaviour: first, philosophy will make individuals wise; secondly, each individual will be treated fairly and lastly, by philosophy will reduce the amount of disagreements within a state.…

    • 859 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Superior Essays

    Socrates’ most palpable reasoning for this principle is that the many found him guilty even though he thinks he’s innocent. The judgement of the many is degraded in Socrates’ mind after they convict him. Another motive for Socrates to dismiss the opinion of the many is because he likes to consult experts. Socrates believes that no one should claim knowledge over anything that they are not experts on. This is seen in Plato’s Symposium when Socrates says “how ridiculous I’d been to agree to join you in praising Love and to say that I was a master of the art of love, when I knew nothing whatever of this business, of how anything whatever ought to be praised” (Sym.…

    • 1420 Words
    • 6 Pages
    Superior Essays
  • Improved Essays

    Socrates never said that his ideas were right to anything, but I feel that Socrates felt the law of Athens was unfair and needed to be changed and so it led to Socrates trying to stand up for the better good that he believed in and giving his life during the trial. “For this fear of death is indeed the pretence of wisdom, and not real wisdom, being the appearance of knowing the unknown; since no one knows whether death, which they in their fear apprehend to be the greatest evil, may not be the greatest good.”. I believe that he does not care exactly how it will be changed if the problems goes away after the change. I feel the fact that Socrates fully knows well, there is a good chance he will be put on trial and be sentenced to death if he breaks the laws of worshipping other gods than Athens and corrupting the youth. However, his goal was to exploit these problems and the best way to do that was through demonstration.…

    • 1567 Words
    • 7 Pages
    Improved Essays