Instructor: Dr. Dennis L. Burke
September 7, 2012
“The Apology” by Plato
In this reading Plato tells the story of Socrates and his trial which ultimately lead to his death sentence. Socrates was a 70 year old man at peace with his own mortality yet willing to face his accusers with an almost definite possibility of death to maintain his own integrity and beliefs and morality. He fully understood from the beginning of his trial what the sentence handed down would be yet on a level of honor and courage not seen in abundance in modern society he maintained his stance and delivered a compelling and convincing argument. He openly stated that he knew his actions had offended Meletus and other self-described wise men yet thoroughly explained that he was compelled to do so by the Oracle. Through these actions he made many enemies along the way. He felt that the Oracle had informed him falsely stating he was the wisest of men. His reaction to this was to search out all men he thought of as wise, such as politicians, artisans, as well as those whom just crossed his path yet had no reason to possess great wisdom. In the end he was able to prove his point though it remained a moot point to more than half the Athenians that handed down his sentence. Though he was not wrong in pursuing what he perceived as a mission from the Oracle, the act alone of humiliating these self-proclaimed great and wise men was enough to simply seal his fate. Stating his opinion his actions and beliefs did not fit the form of society according to the Athenians who were in majority ruled by their fears of the consequence handed down for finding in favor of Socrates. I feel that Socrates choice to accept his punishment and die in defense of his beliefs was truly a courageous move on his part. While reading “The Apology” I felt a sense of pride along with sadness for Socrates. He made his defense and through it all maintained his...