"The Death of Socrates" Analysis

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Plato’s “The Death of Socrates”, a piece detailing Socrates’ death and his followers’ reactions to his passing, has been reflected on throughout history and is still relevant in its emotions and messages about death. Throughout the piece itself, many of his followers are upset over Socrates’s impending death, and yet, Socrates is not upset, and is actually scolding the others about their feelings and reactions. Socrates understands that his followers are not taking his sentence to death well, shown when Socrates states, “Be of good cheer, then, my dear Crito, and say that you are burying my body only, and do with that as is usual, and as you think best”. Socrates is sensible about his death and knows it is inevitable, and as a result, feels no sorrow in comparison to his followers. This lack of sorrow in Socrates and the pain felt by his followers is shown in David’s painting, The Death of Socrates. In the painting, Socrates does not seem at all concerned about his fate, more so about the others around him, mainly Crito. On the stool by Socrates’ side is Plato, with a hand on Socrates’ leg, looking rather concerned and solemn. However, Socrates is quite the opposite, and appears to be scolding Crito and the others about their lack of control of their emotions. He obviously does not care about his impending death, shown when he reaches for the cup full of poison casually, not even looking at it. This cup holds his death, and his lack of emotion on this particular subject shows his true feelings. Socrates did earn this fate by supposedly corrupting the youth, and although this was unjust, Socrates is willing to die to uphold his cause and what he believes is right. He is sacrificing for the greater good of the community, even if it does not seem as such, since he is essentially taking his own life, and rather willingly. He is more willing to stay true to his belief in civil service than to stay alive, and this is the main reason why David painted this...
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