Socrates Sophist Analysis

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One major reason for the trial and conviction of Socrates was a combination of the uprise of both social and political tension in Athenian society. In Ancient Greece, there were travelling intellectuals who charged other people a fee in order to educate them, called sophists. Sophists generally taught academic subjects like astronomy, mathematics, etc., but what they specialised in was the art of rhetoric. The sophists were highly educated and very strong orators; being able to speak well was an important part of Athenian society because it was linked to your status and power and orators were considered high class. The sophists taught students how to be skilled orators and in public speaking in order to be able to make well-thought arguments in politics, in court, or in …show more content…

This was a real cause for people to associate Socrates with being a sophist and perpetuated people to falsely believe that Socrates was actually a sophist who questioned and corrupted the minds of the youth. The unfair association of Socrates being a sophist thereby led to his trial because people were afraid of his methods of questioning because it would cause the youth to lose confidence in the political system of Athens. Socrates, however, defends himself against Meletus, one of his accusers, in ‘The apology’ saying that he was not a sophist: ”if you had heard anyone say that I try to educate people and charge a fee, there is no truth in that” (19E). He did not charge people, but due to old rumours and the play ‘Clouds’ it had led to his conviction because his ways of questioning the Athenian polis was a threat not only to the aristocratic ruling party’s power and status but also a threat to the social stability of Athens both at that time and possibly even in future. This is summed up by Protagoras, an Ancient Greek philosopher, who examines that “It would be wrong to use violence to try to overthrow the laws but a wise sophist might by skilful argument persuade a city to change its

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