Essay on Socrates

2143 words 9 pages
The First Advocate for Free Speech – Socrates The precise facts about how and why the great Greek philosopher Socrates was sentenced and executed remains one of the biggest puzzles in history, even to this day. Socrates lived and philosophized in Athens, which is said to be the ancient model for a democracy. Yet, it seems like the Athenians sentenced to death a respected member of their society for speaking his mind and standing by his principles. Now how democratic is that? What makes the situation more riddling is that the only two journals for the events surrounding the death of Socrates are written by Plato and Xenophon, who are his followers. Some historians argue the picture they presented in their works is intended to imply …show more content…

He says that “either obey Anytus or not, and either let me go or not, since I would not do otherwise, not even if I were going to die many times” (30c, Apology). This is a way of testing whether Athens can comprehend his ways of teaching and is worthy of having Socrates and his philosophy. However, here he is rather too arrogant for the jurors by providing only two options – either kill me or let me go. His statements about him being send by the gods and how by killing him the citizens will suffer themselves is outrageous. It will clearly not help discharge the accusations, but is simply aimed at making a point. There is no way a person like Socrates, from the little that we know about him, would not understand how his words will affect people and what reactions he will get. However, he chooses to get sacrificed for his cause. When later voted guilty but by a small difference, he suggests and alternative to a death sentence, that he should be given free meals in the Prytaneum, which was an honor intended for the city elite and the Olympic champions. Suggesting a real punishment as a second sentence option will be like admitting he was wrong. Most people in this situation will live with that just to get a smaller punishment, but Socrates would clearly not in the world do anything to even suggest he is guilty of something before the people of Athens. He knows the people who voted him guilty will not change their mind and give him


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