The Socrates Defense Speech

Decent Essays

In Socrates defense speech there were certain parts that could have influenced the jury to judge him as guilty and sentenced him to death. The first time Socrates words failed him in this way was when he said that there was no one wiser than him according to the Pythia (Lines 21a). The jury mostly likely interpreted this as, if a man who is of such low class is “wiser” than them then that must mean they know nothing. The jury probably took offense to this because they all felt they had known their skills and were wise in that knowledge. In another section, Socrates basically says they know nothing stating “he supposes he knows something when he does not know”, which leads to the assumption that one who believes they know something is …show more content…

By stating that it shouldn’t be important that he believed in other gods, Socrates is offending one of the most important values of the city, the gods the city believed in. Socrates goes on to tell the judges that even if they set him free on the terms he will stop philosophizing, he will not do so (Lines 29d). He says he will always obey the gods and not them. At that point, the jury probably understood that the only way to stop Socrates was to judge him as guilty. Socrates then tells the jury that killing him would harm them (Lines 30c- 31a). The jury probably saw this as a threating statement. Socrates goes on to say that there is nobody else like him and that if the prosecute him they will “spend the rest of your lives asleep”. The jury was probably scared that Socrates compared their life without him, as death. Finally, Socrates claims that all who learned from him listened because it was “not unpleasant” (Lines 33a-33b). By using a double negative, Socrates is trying to conceal the fact that he is saying listening to him is pleasant. Earlier Socrates said he would not try to trick the judges with his words, using basic language and being truthful throughout. The jury probably recognized his deception in this line and therefore he lost any trust he might have earned before the judgment. After Socrates was found guilty, an even larger amount of people condemned him to death. This means

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