Socrates Rhetorical Appeal

Decent Essays

In “The Apology”, Plato’s written account of Socrates’ trial, Socrates rhetorical goal is not only to exonerate himself from the crimes he’s been accused of, but, more importantly, to show how he is devoted to the pursuit of justice. Socrates shows this by demonstrating his determination for doing what is righteous, rather than focusing on being abdicated from his crimes. Throughout his speech, Socrates uses an emotional appeal to establish himself as being on the side of truth, justice, and wisdom, and shows that by trusting in his words, the jurymen would also be in support of these principles. Furthermore, Socrates is able to establish his support of the truth and justice by addressing specific rumors and accusations set against him using an appeal to logic. These logical appeals are used to show how his defense is the truth and that the allegations against him are opinion, rumor, and unjust.
Socrates starts his defense with an appeal to pathos as he apologizes for his informal way of speaking. Early in “The Apology,” Socrates claims that “the most astounding of the many lies [my accusers] told came when they claimed that you needed to take care not to be deceived by me, because of my artfulness as a speaker” (17a-17b). He therefore claims that it is not him who speaks artfully, but his accusers. He then compares his plain speech to the deceitful speech of his accusers. Thus, the beginning of Socrates’ defense sets the tone for the remainder of his speech as he

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