It is the interpretation of Socrates’ trial. The “apology” is not an act of regret for one’s actions or being sorry for that matter since the Greek word “apologia” originally means “explanation.” In this…
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He was found guilty and faced death penalty not because he was not able to present an effective dialogue but his opponents or accusers were highly threatened by his great wisdom which he did not boast off. Socrates further asserted that he wasn’t an evildoer and denied the accusations on him corrupting the minds of the youth and that relied heavily on the existence of God. He claimed that man knows nothing and if he knows even a little bit of something, this should not be a reason to be proud of because he himself humbled his wisdom on things.
As one of the most influential Greek philosophers of his time, Socrates did not attack corruption or worship in false gods but rather on exposure of man to false wisdom. He believed in morality and that this could bring about happiness in an individual. Hence, throughout his trial, he was able to prove he was not a wretched man that he did not corrupt the youth, and that there was no man wiser than God.
It was in Delphi where the myth of Zeus can be recalled being curious about the exact location of the earth’s center. Zeus release two eagles from Mount Olympus then flew in opposite directions and met at Delphi. The Oracle of Delphi was the most important shrine in Greece dating back to 1400 BC. Delphi was considered the navel or center of the world. People from all over Greece come to Delphi for answers about their future. Pythia, the priestess of Apollo could determine the course of everything from when a farmer planted his seedlings, to when an empire declared war.
Socrates did not celebrate nor boast when he learned from a friend that the Oracle of Delphi had revealed the wisest man in Athens since he thought of himself as ‘ignorant.’ Instead, he tried to prove it wrong. After questioning everyone about what was truly worthwhile in life and no one fairly answered but pretended that they knew something but actually did not, Socrates finally realized that the Oracle was right. He alone admitted his own
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As a gadfly, Socrates argues that he has the responsibility to arouse, persuade and reproach the state at all times in order to ensure the state is responsive. Without the gadfly, the state would sink into irresponsible slumber. The presence of the gadfly - albeit irritating - spurs the state to pursue productivity and virtuosity.
It is possible here to find that in normal sense, the word ‘examine’ stands for ‘to search’, or to ‘scrutinize’. In both the cases, it becomes easy to understand what Socrates meant by ‘an examined life’. If taken in a judicial context, the term ‘examination’ means getting judged by a fair judge who will weigh the arguments of one to reach truth or justice.
There is also another version written by Xenophon, but it is not considered as authentic since he was not present during the time of the trial even though Plato was. In fact, Plato himself was mentioned twice by Socrates in his apology. We cannot be sure of Xenophon’s text because it is all a result of word of mouth, but then he has added some more background information, too.
It is believed that the words by Socrates were not recorded when he was speaking, but with the detailing of dialogues it is sure that Plato was present during the time of trial. As the title suggests it does not mean that it is a kind of apology and it derives from a Greek word “apologia” which means a speech made in defense (Plato 2013).
Yet, in all ages and times there happened to be people that did not shun away the onus of exposing the wrongs and misdeeds that they came across in the society, even when threatened with dire consequences. In the very same vein, Socrates in Plato’s Apology chooses to act a whistleblower to the lies prevalent in the society of his times.
33. This is the first time that Socrates tries to tell people the underlying facts that they are unaware of; that they have been manipulated and brainwashed by the opponents of Socrates, who hated him out of personal grudge rather than