Plato: The Trial and Death of Socrates Essay

Submitted By boisson2
Words: 496
Pages: 2

Power is something that has been fought over for centuries. In ancient times, there was a struggle between which power, the law of Gods or the law of courts, held more jurisdiction relating to the punishments of wrongdoings. The contradiction between the Apology and Crito is one of many different perspectives. In the Apology, Socrates tells the courts that if they order him to stop philosophizing that he would not obey these laws. This proves to be inconsistent with Crito. Socrates states that he will not escape imprisonment prior to death because that would injure the city of Athens. On the outside, this may seem to be easily classified as a contradiction. When looking deeper into the readings, however, his reasoning becomes clear. Instead of placing importance on the authority of Athens itself, Socrates follows the word of the God of Apollo.

In the Apology, Socrates tells of the oracle saying no one is wiser than he. Socrates does not offend the people of Athens consciously. He is trying to understand what only the oracle sees. “…when the god ordered me, as I thought and believed, to live the life of a philosopher, to examine myself and others, I had abandoned my post for fear of death or anything else. That would have been a dreadful thing, and then I might truly have justly been brought here for not believing that there are gods, disobeying the oracle, fearing death, and thinking I was wise when I was not.” (Apology 29 a-b) To begin, Socrates clearly states to the courts that these are things he believes in. There wasn’t a point in time when he doubted the belief of the Gods. This was shoved into the trial in a later time when Melletus was contradicting himself during Socrates’ questioning. The formal charges came as irreligion and corruption of youth. Secondly, if Socrates did not obey the oracle, it would be a just reason to be