Plato's The Trial And Death Of Socrates

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In Plato’s The Trial and Death of Socrates, written in approximately 399 B.C.E., his beloved teacher and mentor, Socrates, fights for his innocence against alleged charges, all of which pertaining to atheism, in the Court of King Archon. Whilst defending himself, Socrates claims to possess “human wisdom,” (Apology, 31), and those prosecuting him to maintain “super-human wisdom” (Apology, 31), for they must retain greater knowledge than he. Despite his alleged shred of this wisdom, he only interests himself with the knowledge of the mortal. Through articulating this, Socrates expounds upon the observances in mortal life, and argues that as a human, one should not concern themselves with what lies beyond death, for there is much to explore in…show more content…
The grand claims in the umbrella of “super-human wisdom” include believing certain actions please or displease the gods, the existence of life after death, and such matters indeterminable to humans through the medium of divinity. In Plato’s Euthyphro, Euthyphro and Socrates bicker about Euthyphro’s behavior, and its interpretation from the gods. Euthyphro claims his prosecution of his father for an accidental crime would fancy him in the eyes of the Gods, yet Socrates rebuttals, exclaiming “But, in the name of Zeus, Euthyphro, do you think you have such exact knowledge about the positions the gods take, and about the pious and the impious, that in the face of these events, you’ve no fear of acting impiously yourself in bringing your father to trial?” (Euthyphro, 7). Via this excerpt, Socrates attempts to have Euthyphro think lucidly about the actions of the gods. Who, initially, placed these ludicrous thoughts of the gods into the minds of humans? Other humans. So how would a human possess the knowledge of a god, even on a topic as insignificant as what mortal behaviors they favor? Socrates, through Plato’s interpretation, stood…show more content…
Through his intellectual project of studying the wisdom of the politician, poet, and craftsman, he found himself the most wise, for though he may not have gifts in their respective trades, he does not claim to know something that he does in fact not know, hence deeming him the wiser in each scenario. Furthermore, in his ordeal with Euthyphro, his poised questioning positioned him as holding the most wisdom, for his claims of knowing the classifications of actions both pious and impious prove that a concrete definition of these terms ceases to exist, and it takes one far more wise than Euthyphro, who believes the words of humans that bear upon the gods, to consider this. Conversely, via The Epic of Gilgamesh, one may conclude that knowing of a human’s mortality brings about wisdom, though Gilgamesh’s quest in gaining this knowledge differed greatly from that of Socrates. Though achieved in different methods, these two tales provide insight to the essential question of what it means to be
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