Apology


In Plato’s Apology, Socrates is on trial, being prosecuted on the charge of impiety. His accusers, Meletus, Anytus, and Lycon, wanted Socrates punished for “enquiring into things under the earth and in the heavens, and making the weaker argument the stronger, and teaching these same things to other people.” Socrates was put on trial to defend himself and his actions. But Socrates did not feel the need to defend himself only to explain why he does the things he does.
The whole event was broken down into three phases: The trial, the sentencing, and his address to the people of Athens. In the trial phase, Socrates continues to question his accusers. He explains that wisdom is not necessarily what you know, it is realizing what you do not know, being able to admit it, and openly questioning what you do not know to gain that knowledge. Those who accused him of impiety wanted him convicted and punished not truly for those charges but mainly for questioning their personal wisdom. They felt that by Socrates questioning their knowledge, he mocked their intelligence and humiliated them in the process. Socrates explained that his purpose was not to insult them but force them to question themselves and what they thought they knew. He felt that was the true path to wisdom. He also believed in and respected the law so much that he put his faith and trust into the hands of the jury, stating that he would not beg them to let him go. He felt it was their!
job to decide what was best for him and the community.
In the sentencing phase, Socrates tells the court that he is not upset with the jury for finding him guilty, despite the fact that he had discredited his accusers and their accusations during trial. He knew that it would be a stringent task to nullify the prejudices that have for so long plagued him and corrupted their minds. Socrates said that the verdict was not completely unexpected to him. His accusers had proposed the death penalty …