Imagine the time just after the death of Socrates. The people of Athens were filled with questions about the final judgment of this well-known, long-time citizen of Athens. Socrates was accused at the end of his life of impiety and corruption of youth. Rumors, prejudices, and questions flew about the town. Plato experienced this situation when Socrates, his teacher and friend, accepted the ruling of death from an Athenian court. In The Last Days of Socrates, Plato uses Socrates' own voice to explain the reasons that Socrates, though innocent in Plato's view, was convicted and why Socrates did not escape his punishment as offered by the court. The writings, "Euthyphro," "The Apology," "Crito," and "Pheado" not only helped the general population of Athens and the friends and followers of Socrates understand his death, but also showed Socrates in the best possible light. They are connected by their common theme of a memoriam to Socrates and the discussion of virtues. By studying these texts, researchers can see into the culture of Athens, but most important are the discussions about relationships in the book. The relationships between the religion and state and individual and society have impacted the past and are still concerns that are with us today.
While Plato is writing to prove Socrates a good or respectable person, he allows the modern reader a glimpse into Athenian culture. We see that religion is held in very high regard and failing to serve a religion is punishable by death, no matter what one's social or political stature. In "Euthyphro," the reader learns that sometimes an Interpreter is consulted when dealing with certain criminal behavior. Also, we realize that the Athenians regard a son accusing a father of a crime, no matter what the charge, as very odd and of great annoyance to the family. I believe this is still true today. Family loyalty is considered, in some... [continues]
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(1999, 10). Last Days of Socrates. StudyMode.com. Retrieved 10, 1999, from http://www.studymode.com/essays/Last-Days-Socrates-9149.html
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"Last Days of Socrates." StudyMode.com. 10, 1999. Accessed 10, 1999. http://www.studymode.com/essays/Last-Days-Socrates-9149.html.