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A Just Man Should Fear No Death in the Apology by Plato Essay

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Plato’s Apology
The Apology was written by Plato, and relates Socrates’ defense at his trial on charges of corrupting the youth and impiety. Socrates argues that he is innocent of both charges. His defense is ultimately unsuccessful, and he is convicted and sentenced to death. Socrates concludes the Apology by arguing that a just man should have no fear of death.

Socrates defends himself against the charges brought against him by his prosecutor Meletus in two ways. One way consists of a description of Socrates’ motivation and method, which he hopes will explain to the jury why some people, including his prosecutors, dislike him. The second defense consists of Socrates responding directly to the two charges brought against him:
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He points out that he has never received pay for his services, and presents his poverty as proof of his service to the god (p. 30). Finally, Socrates claims that the god has given him a “divine sign” which warns him when he is about to do something wrong. It is this sign, he says, that has prevented him from leading a “public” life of politics. Socrates responds to the charge that he is guilty of corrupting the youth, in two ways. The first way (p. 28) attempts to show that Meletus’ charge is “frivolous” on the grounds that it does not conform to plausible examples of how creatures become corrupted. Under questioning from Socrates, Meletus grants that all of the citizens of Athens except Socrates benefit the youth of Athens; Socrates alone corrupts them. Yet this is implausible, Socrates implies, for in other cases of corruption, such as the corruption of horses by bad owners, the contrary is the case, with only one or a few individuals benefiting them, and most people corrupting them. Socrates’ second argument against the charge of corrupting the youth presents a dilemma. Although Meletus asserts that Socrates corrupts the youth deliberately, Socrates vehemently denies this (p. 29). Assuming that the alleged corruption is not deliberate, Socrates then presents Meletus with two possibilities: “Either I do not corrupt the young or,
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