An Analysis of Jacques Louis' 'The Death of Socrates'

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The Death of Socrates by Jacques Louis David *summary/description: The Death of Socrates by Jacques Louis David is a striking picture of the aged philosopher sitting upright in his bed moments before the poison is taking its effect with one finger raised to heaven. He is expostulating to his students but the majority of his students turn away unwilling to see the ravishing effects of the drug on their beloved master. One student looks at the ground covering his eyes. Another sits, head lowered. The one preferring the hemlock looks away pinching his eyes. Still another clutches the wall, whilst one places his hand on Socrates thigh seemingly beseeching him to resist and refrain from imbibing the poison. Socrates seated on bed, one hand poised over bowl the other raised heavenward, foot sprawled over bed, beard and hair like a tiger's mane cloth dangling loosely over body appears radiant and ferocious. Death is not the end to all; he appears to be telling his students. Resistance can be done in ways other than rebellion or attempt to escape. Socrates knows that he is approaching a true end where tortured life on this world will meet Beauty in the next. He is looking forward to meeting the ideal up in heaven hence finger pointing upwards. There is no need to resist. The hemlock offers respite and promise. In the background, the philosopher's wife unable to see his torment leaves the scene. Only, Socrates' closest students remain: Plato at the foot of the bed, and Crito

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