The Apology By Plato 's Speech

1416 Words Feb 1st, 2016 6 Pages
The Apology by Plato is an account of the speech Socrates makes at his trial. He was charged with not acknowledging the gods that the government recognized, inventing new deities and corrupting the youth of Athens. The speech is not an apology, however, it is more of a defense. In the beginning of his speech Socrates explains that he has no experience in courts and he will speak informally. He then explains that his behavior is heavily influenced by a prophecy told by an oracle which stated that he was the wisest man. Socrates knew this couldn’t possibly be true in the traditional sense, however he concludes that the way he must be wiser than other men is that he knows that he knows nothing. Socrates thinks that his duty is to expose ‘wise’ men’s wisdom as ignorance. As a result, his actions earned him a lot of admiration among the youth of Athens, as well as a lot of contempt from the people he exposed as stupid. He explains that their anger is the reason he is on trial in the first place. Socrates then interrogates Meletus, the man primarily responsible for Socrates being on trial. This interrogation, however, is more directed at embarrassing Meletus than actually finding the truth. Socrates argues that his influence is necessary, however annoying it may be, for the state to be productive. Socrates is found guilty by a small margin and is asked to suggest a penalty for himself. Socrates jokingly suggests that he be served a great meal for being such a service to the state,…

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