The Apology – Plato
Essay title: The Apology – Plato
In the Apology, Plato provides the reader with a faithful picture of the greatness of Socrates. This dialogue is one of the many recorded about the life and work of Socrates. The Apology is about how Socrates was arrested and charged with corrupting the youth, believing in no gods not approved by the state, and for being a Sophist. During the trial Socrates explained “This is irreverent conduct for either of us.” This essay will explain in detail the Apology as well as focus on Socrates statement.
It is commonly mistaken that apology in this instance means something along the lines of Socrates being sorry for some action he may have done because that is the way word is most of the time used today. However, it actually means a work that defends, justifies or clarifies an idea or point of view. In this context of the word apology, Socrates is making more or less giving a speech before the Athenian Government to defend himself at trial. Socrates tries to overcome the obstacle of so many Athenians attempting to go against what he wants to explain to them.
The three men that brought charges against Socrates were fellow Athenians Anytus, Meletus, and Lycon. There were many charges against Socrates in the beginning but he refuted them by explaining they were only gossip and were from a long time before his trial therefor, they were unanswerable. The three main charges against Socrates remained, those of corrupting the youth, believing in divinities not recognized by the state and creating new deities. The dialogue of the Apology is divided into three categories, the first part is Socrates own defense, his recounting of the Oracle at Delphi and his cross-examination of Meletus.
During the trial, one of the accusers says “not the purpose of a jurymans office to give justice as a favour…but to judge according to law…” Meaning the justice of the case is what should count more than anything. Socrates then says “This is irreverent conduct for either of us.” Socrates being a believer himself and holding the gods in high regards meant that the oath is to the Gods, to do right, and violating it is impiety. Referring to his manner of defense, he is not going to act in a way that