The work of art that I chose is The Death of Socrates, painted by Jacques Louis David in 1787 and exposed at the MET. This painting is oil on canvas. In person, it looks much bigger than I expected; in fact, it measures almost 1.3 meters in height, and almost 2 meters in length. The colors are a little dull, especially in the areas far away from Socrates, who is the focal point of the painting. Through a detailed work of colors, lights and shadows, the emphasis is put on Socrates and on his followers close to him. As suggested by the description next to the artwork, David painted his piece shortly before the French Revolution. Through the painting, David wanted to send a message to the French people, encouraging them to resist against unjust authority. The work depicts Socrates’s death (399 B.C.), one of the most influential Greek philosophers of all times. He is sentenced to death by the Athenian courts for the crime of holding disdainful affirmations and behavior towards the gods. Socrates is pictured as he is about to drink from a cup of poison, meanwhile he is giving his last lesson to his followers, explaining the principle of soul immortality. Socrates is portrayed as a man in his fifties (even though he was approximately thirty when he died) with white hair and beard. He’s wearing a white robe, which is open on his torso and on his right leg, and is coiled around his left arm. With his right hand, he approaches the bowl containing the poison, while, with his left
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Socrates was a Western Ancient Athenian Greek philosopher who lived from 469 BCE until his death in 399 BCE. He was a student to another philosopher, Sophists, Socrates was different from most Greek philosophers he wanted to get at the truth and find out how one can truly be ‘good’ and moral in life. “To Socrates the soul is identified with the mind; it is the seat of reason and capable of finding the ethical truths, which will restore meaning and value of life” (ADD IN-TEXT CITATION SEMINAR). We continue to use many of Socrates teachings today, such as, ‘The Socratic method’, which is known as asking a question and within these questions you lead it to the answer you wanted to hear, many uses this as a teaching technique and is shown to be highly effective. A great number of Athenians looked up to Socrates and considered him the wise man of Athens, he had many followers whom would ask questions and seek answers. As popularity and following of Socrates grew so did accusations. The charges laid on Socrates by the Athenians were unjust and therefore his death was highly wrong in the eyes of true democracy that Athens was apparently known for. In this paper, I will discuss how Socrates was wrongfully convicted for the corruption of the youth despite having many young followers, introducing new Gods while still being considered an Atheist, and the main reason he was seen as a threat to Athens was that he brought change to the city.
Reaching for the cup was an afterthought and unimportant to him. Also, the chains were just lying on the floor. They were not being used to restrain him. No one was restraining him or forcing him to drink the poison. He is willfully reaching out for the cup. Everyone in the room was crying except for Socrates. The man that was handing the poison to Socrates could not even bear to look at Socrates’ face. The man is looking the opposite direction. His hand is covering his eyes. He almost looks ashamed to be handing Socrates the poison.
In this reading Plato tells the story of Socrates and his trial which ultimately lead to his death sentence. Socrates was a 70 year old man at peace with his own mortality yet willing to face his accusers with an almost definite possibility of death to maintain his own integrity and beliefs and morality. He fully understood from the beginning of his trial what the sentence handed down would be yet on a level of honor and courage not seen in abundance in modern society he maintained his stance and delivered a compelling and convincing argument. He openly stated that he knew his actions had offended Meletus and
In philosophy class this semester we spoke a lot about Socrates and his trial. We were required to read the dialogue ‘Apology’ by Plato. The ‘Apology’ Dialogue is what Plato recorded during the speech Socrates gave to the court defending himself against the charges of "corrupting the young, and by not believing in the gods in whom the city believes” these two were the main charges, but underneath that there were also other significant charges such as being considered an antidemocratic or pro-Spartan, sophistry, and being lampooned by Aristophanes in the comedy “clouds”. "Apology" in this sense has the meaning of speaking in defense of ones beliefs or actions. The trial is usually categorized into two interpretations which are: Socrates as a Martyr and Socrates as an Antidemocratic. The first interpretation which says Socrates trial and death was Socrates acting as a martyr; that interpretation is considered more “traditional” and “standard” compared to the ‘radical’ interpretation that stated that Socrates was Antidemocratic.
The portrayal of Socrates, through the book “the trial and death of Socrates” is one that has created a fairly controversial character in Western history. In many ways, Socrates changed the idea of common philosophy in ancient Greece; he transformed their view on philosophy from a study of why the way things are, into a consideration man. Specifically, he analyzed the virtue and health of the human soul. Along side commending Socrates for his strong beliefs, and having the courage to stand by those convictions, Socrates can be commended for many other desirable characteristics. Some of those can include being the first martyr to die for his philosophical beliefs and having the courage to challenge indoctrinated cultural norms is part of
The execution of Socrates is not justified. The charges that were brought against Socrates had taught all his adult life, without molestation, in a state that was well known for its democracy and fairness. The Athenians were not brutal people and executions were rare. Socrates had to drink a poisonous hemlock in order to die, a non-brutal method of death. We must understand Athens past in order to make judgment. I believe that the form of punishment was very extreme in this impressionable city and very uncommon and unalike the portrayed view of the typical Athenian. Socrates
In 469 B.C. a man by the name of Socrates was born. Socrates was a very wise man that cared about doing the right thing. He believed that the best ways to develop ideas was in the give and take of conversation, and that the best way to educate people was to ask them a series of questions leading in a particular direction (now named “Socrates method). Socrates had been quick to identify the drawbacks of democracy, and he had also been the teacher of two men who in different ways harmed Athens: Alcibiades and Critias. Which made the parents of the children that Socrates had taught very upset and angry. Granting all this, it lead to the Trial of Socrates 399 B.C. During this trial Socrates expressed his view of death by using his question-and-answer method, for which he was famous for and what seemed to have gotten him in trouble. Socrates did not write so we have to depend on on what others wrote, and by doing that we now get to see the diverse ways people read and understand what was written about his speech. My chosen primary source, Socrates View on Death, is important, because it gives one view of Socrates speech while my outside source, Ancient Greece, gives a slightly more in depth view.
Throughout the course of the Phaedo, Socrates argues that the soul is immortal. Because he believes that his soul will live on forever, Socrates claims that he is not afraid to die. Socrates was sentenced to death and due to the fact that he took the poison earlier than when was necessary, many believe that he committed suicide. Contrary to what may be presumed about Socrates’ death, I will argue that he is a martyr and did not commit suicide.
The first painting, Death of Socrates by Jacques-Louis David, depicts one of the great philosophers, Socrates being sentenced to death. Socrates was a famous Athenian philosopher. It was through the works of Plato, Socrates’s student, that we learn about the trials and imprisonment that Socrates endured for his way of thinking. Through David’s painting style and use of Neoclassicism, viewers can understand the significance.
In this selection from The Phaedo, Plato writes about final moments of Socrates; specifically a conversation between Socrates and his numerous friends on the day of his execution (Socrates was on trial for not recognizing the Gods as the stated viewed them and corrupting the youth of Athens; he was to be executed by drinking poison). The conversation is recalled by Phaedo in his conversation with Echecrates. Phaedo was amazed at how calm Socrates remained while spending a long time in jail awaiting his execution as the holy days prevented the act from taking place.
Viewing the painting “The Death of Socrates” by Jacques-Louis David, one can perceive many different subject matters, both literally and metaphorically. The obvious is seen within the setting of the painting. The clear illustration of where the event is happening provides the onlooker with a glimpse into a different time and era. Conversely, the artist has taken the liberty to hide deep meaning inside the work of art through less apparent means. Symbolism through art work has endured from early works to contemporized ones, here is no different. Taking the two aforementioned into consideration gives us a glimpse into both the symbolic and factual significance of the occasion.
As we continue to utilize this theme of femininity versus masculinity, we can see how the composition of each painting depicts each contrast. The Swing places the viewer inside an outdoors setting that is clearly soft, curvy, and feminine. The Death of Socrates takes place in an indoor setting marked by its attention to geometry, straight lines, and 90-degree angles. When looking at the setting in Fragonard’s work, we can see that there is no sense of order or structure, the same that are conveyed in David’s The Death of Socrates. This lack of order or structure was used by the Neo-Classicist to repudiate Rococo. By giving their form of art
Ignorance: the condition of being uninformed or uneducated; this basic definition is crucial to understanding one of the most controversial figures in ancient Athenian society: the philosopher Socrates. The man’s entire life was devoted to proving the fact that no one actually knew what they thought they did; that everyone lived in ignorance. This viewpoint earned Socrates many enemies, so many that even a renowned playwright, Aristophanes, decided to exploit the situation. He wrote his critiquing play of Socrates called The Clouds; a scathing criticism that the philosopher would partially attribute to his future indictment on charges of impiety and corrupting the
Socrates’ views of death as represented in “The Trial and Death of Socrates” are irrevocably tied to his beliefs of what makes life significant. For Socrates, life must be examined through constant questioning and one must hold the goodness of life above all else. Consequently, even in the face of the un-good, or unjust in Socrates’ case as represented in his trial, it would not be correct to do wrong, return wrong or do harm in return for harm done. Therefore, no act should be performed with an account for the risk of life or death; it should be performed solely on the basis of whether it is good and right.
The Death of Socrates was painted by the French painter Jacques-Louis David during the Neo-classical era in 1787. The painting illustrates the execution the Philosopher Socrates as told by Plato in his Phaedo. In 399 B.C, the Athenian court had put Socrates on trial for talking about things in the sky and below the earth, corrupting the minds of the youth, and not believing in the gods, but in other spiritual things. Socrates was then sentenced to death by drinking a poisoned hemlock. In Plato’s Phaedo Death Scene and Apology, both works recount the trial and death scene of Socrates. David, later on, paint the death scene of Socrates inspired by the Phaedo Death Scene. Socrates gives his last lesson to his students while calmly facing