Trial And Death Of Socrates Analysis

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Register to read the introduction… how little does the common herd know of the nature of right and truth. A man must be an extraordinary man and have made great strides in wisdom, before he could have seen his way to this” (p. 3). This quote from Socrates comes after he asks Euthyphro what he is doing on the porch of King Archon. Euthyphro responds by telling Socrates that he is there to bring up a charge of murder against his father. When Socrates points out that, according to accepted beliefs, it is wicked to harm or bring disgrace on one’s father, Euthyphro counters that that makes no difference. According to accepted beliefs, harboring a manslayer is wrong and pollutes those who associate with him. This response is what leads into a discussion of the main topic of the dialogue: piety. “And what is piety, and what is impiety?” (p. 4). Since Euthyphro is an expert in religion and seems capable of finding the right course to pursue in what appears to Socrates a dilemma (the prosecution of Euthyphro’s father), and since Socrates is facing a religious charge, he proposes that he become Euthyphro’s student in religion. This is why he asks Euthyphro to define piety, so that he himself will have a measure for deciding what is religious and what is not, thus be able to defend himself in court. Euthyphro answers that what he is doing in prosecuting his father is religious, and he cites the precedent of Zeus punishing his own father (Cronos). Socrates then questions many of the stories about strife among the gods over the next few passages as Euthyphro continues to defend the gods. This questioning of the stories about the gods is what leads to his trial in the first place, that he questioned them and that because he was a teacher it caused the youth to question the gods. If you question the gods and the gods are pious, you are in turn acting with impiety. “Remember that I did not ask you to give me two or three examples of piety, but to explain the general idea …show more content…
Socrates begins his defense by remarking what persuasive speakers his accusers are in contrast to himself. He indicates that he does not expect to get a fair hearing because of the wide-spread rumors about him and that these rumors associate him with the natural philosophers. The problem with that association is that the natural philosophers were widely suspected of atheism because some of them openly advocated atheism. “Well, then, I will make my defence, and I will endeavor in the time which is allowed to do away with this evil opinion of me which you have held for such a long time; and I hope that I may succeed, if this be know that to accomplish this is not easy—I quite see the nature of the task. Let the event be as God wills: in obedience to the law I make my defence.” (p. 20). This statement is a clue as to what Socrates personal beliefs are on acting just and with piety. With his words, he shows the court that although he does not agree with the charges, he will act as the law has been written for all of the citizens of Athens. He does not expect special treatment and his acceptance of his fate through “God wills” is that of a pious nature. The “God wills” line is sort of a slap in the face to those accusing him because, for Socrates to put his fate in Gods’ hands, it goes against the very nature of the accusations of his atheist behavior. After Socrates gives the court some historical background as to why these rumors exist, he focuses his attention on Meletus and the first charge. Socrates begins by stating that, since Meletus claims to know who is corrupting the youth, he must know who improves them. After some back and forth between the two men, Socrates gets Meletus to say that all Athenians improve the youth and that Socrates is the only one who corrupts the youth. Socrates continues to use Meletus own

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