The Failure Of Socrates In Plato's Apology

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Despite the title of this historical piece of work, this speech, made by Socrates at his trial, was anything but an apology. Plato, who wrote Apology, was a student of Socrates and this is his account of the trial. Even though he was present at the trial, the colloquy may have been adjusted by Plato to reflect what he thought Socrates should have said or what he thought Socrates meant to say. Plato was very fond of Socrates, therefore the way he may present him can be bias. Socrates attempted to persuade the men of Athens of his innocence by presenting himself as a good man and an authority of knowledge, as declared by the Delphic oracle. Socrates attempted to make a logical argument of the accusations when he questioned his accuser, Meletus. Then, to ensure his acquittal, he tried to appeal to the emotions of the judges. While Socrates’ defense was thought provoking, his inflation of self-importance worked against him in his trial, as he failed to persuade the court of his innocent ignorance. Socrates opening statement to the court was not only to build upon his character as favorable but also to lower the character of his accusers. He stated “I know that their persuasive words almost made me forget who I was - such was the effect of…show more content…
He attempts this by trying to appeal to their sense of duty to the state. Socrates explains that what he does, teaching without charge and questioning so-called wise men and pretenders of knowledge, is his duty to the state, keeping it from becoming stagnant. Socrates reminds the court, that even though he is a wise man, he is “of flesh and blood” (Plato). He mentions his sons, stating he has three of them and that two of them are still young. He tells the court “I will not bring any of them hither in order to petition you for an acquittal” (Plato) yet his simple mentioning of them is an effort to play on the emotions of the
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