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A Rhetorical Analysis Of Socrates 'Apology'

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Socrates was a greek philosopher who found himself in trouble with his fellow citizens and court for standing his grounds on his new found beliefs from his studies about philosophical virtue, justice, and truth. In “Apology” written by Plato, Socrates defended himself in trial, not with the goal of escaping the death sentence, but with the goal of doing the right thing and standing for his beliefs. With this mindset, Socrates had no intention of kissing up to the Athenians to save his life. Many will argue that Socrates’ speech was not very effective because he did not fight for his life, he just accepted the death sentence that he was punished with. In his speech he said, “But now it’s time to leave, time for me to die and for you to live.”…show more content…
Rhetoric is a way of speaking in a persuasive way to create an impact on the audience or have them think the same way as the speaker. The three main strategies of rhetoric speech is ethos, pathos, and logos. Ethos meaning the speaker is dwelling upon themselves, pathos meaning the speaker is using imagination to create emotion, and logos meaning facts and logic is used by the speaker to persuade the audience. Socrates used logos in a way that helped him exhibit an effective speech to prove which type of knowledge is worth knowing. In spite of this claim, Socrates was truly only showing the court that he really did not know much more than his name. He was proving this because throughout his speech, he made it seem like the idea of knowing the truth and having real knowledge about a subject wasn’t needed in order to achieve the goal of persuasion. In Socrates’ speech he stated, “...if I say that the unexamined life is not worth living, you’ll believe me even less...you think I’ve been convicted for lack of arguments that would have persuaded you…” Socrates never specified or went into details about his beliefs that he was presenting to the court which, revealed to them that he did not know anything. He wasn’t able to strengthen his claims by providing evidence meaning his use of logos was faulty. However, Socrates’ goal was not to gather evidence to make it seem as if he was putting all his efforts in saving his life. His goal was to make the court understand his beliefs prove which type of knowledge is worth knowing. When talking about the wise man he examined, Socrates said, “Neither of us actually knows what Beauty and Goodness are, but he thinks he knows, even though he doesn’t; whereas I neither know nor think I know.” This shows that Socrates proved he was more wise than the titled wise man because instead of faking the knowledge, that wasn’t too important, he accepted that he did not know which would result in him then seeking for
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