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Apology: Plato

In Plato’s apology, the defendant (Socrates) has been accused of corrupting the youth and searching into things which are under the earth and in heaven and makes worse things to look better. His accusers also sought to silence him arguing that his eloquence was only based on falsehood. The apology portrays the plaintiff (Meletus) to be surprised by the defense presented in court by Socrates. In his defense, Socrates argues that he is nothing but a great truth speaker who is being prejudiced for the same (Reeve, 1989). He argues that his eloquence is no different form that of his accusers only that his accusers who hardly speak the truth.

In defense of his accusation that he is corrupting the youth, Socrates argues that since childhood his accusers had been on the frontline taking possession of the minds of the Athenian people and spreading falsehood which they now accuse Socrates of. In the court, Socrates dares Meletus to cite a single thing which he has for the youth but he only remains silent. According to Socrates, the silence is a disgrace and an indication that Meletus have no interest in the matter. Contradiction arises when Socrates answers that the good do good to their neighbors and the evil do evil to them (Reeve, 1989).

In his defense, he says that if at all he is corrupting the youth then it is unintentional and the law has no provision for the unintentional offences. The other contradiction is evident where Socrates is accused of being an atheist rather than a leader. In his defense, he makes the judges to believe that Meletus believes that, the sun is stone and the moon is the earth. He puts Meletus in a fix where he says that Meletus has a bad opinion of the judges and he fancies them as illiterate to the degree that they will not recognize that he is accusing Anaxagoras.

In his argument, Socrates says he believes in demigods who are the sons of gods. He sees no basis on the accusation when he cites that it is not possible to confirm that mules exist but horses and asses don’t. Finally, through his courage and persistence, Socrates, demonstrates the difference between an accused man and one who is already condemned. Reference Reeve, C. (1989). Socrates in the Apology: An Essay on Plato’s Apology of Socrates. London: Hackett

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