Essay on Socrates' Fight for Justice

1101 Words5 Pages
In Plato’s works Apology and Crito there is an attempt by Socrates to defend himself in court and defend his choice to receive the death penalty when found guilty. Although he makes very valid and strong arguments throughout one can only wonder why such a wise person would choose death over life. The following essay will analyze three quotes from Apology and Crito, find the correlation between them, and reveal any flaws that may exsist inside these arguments made by Socrates.
In Plato’s Apology Socrates explains to the jury the reasons he should be found not guilty against his accused crimes. Although none of the accusations have any true merit Socrates is forced into the courtroom. During his defense Socrates states, “A man who really
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Socrates would rather be punished or die before he breaks the laws that were set forth by his state, and this he says later in the same passage, “I should run any risk on the side of law and justice rather than join you. (Cahn pg. 38 Apology b10-c2).” Socrates is eventually found guilty and is to fight no longer for his innocence, but against a penalty of death. As Socrates speaks to the jury he begins to speak more of the meanings of life opposed to the need for life. He claims, “it is the greatest good for a man to discuss virtue every day and those other things about which you hear me conversing and testing myself and others, for the unexamined life is not worth living for men.. (Cahn pg. Apology39 38a1-4).” Although Socrates never explicitly states why he feels this way, but upon reading this statement and analyzing its context one can grasp a sense of this argument. Socrates is arguing that life is unlived if it is not questioned and our thoughts are not examined. He understands that his wisdom is far greater than that of the jury, and he feels that all other punishments would leave him unhappy and dissatisfied. He would rather suffer death than to go against the laws of the state, although he is being wrongly convicted. He feels he has lived a good life and a true life because he was able to examine himself and others true
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