Analysis of The Apology of Socrates by Plato
Socrates was a Greek philosopher and orator who were honored as one of the fathers of Western philosophy and had far-reaching influence on Western philosophy. However, it’s worth mentioning that Socrates himself didn’t have any written piece. This work was written by his student, Plato, narrating the forensic speech of Socrates delivered at his death trail in 399 BC. During the time, Socrates was charged with multiple such as “he corrupts the youth and doesn’t believe in the gods that the city believes in, but believes in other new divinities” (24b), and “Socrates does wrong and is too concerned with inquiring about what’s in heavens and below the earth and to make the weaker argument appear to be the stronger and to teach these same things to others” (19b). In this work, Socrates defended for himself against the charges instead of apologizing. Here the name of the work Apology of Socrates should be understood in its original meaning which is defense of Socrates.
In his speech, Socrates didn’t attempted to clear his name but he focused more on bring his audiences to their senses for the good of Athenians. From the speech, it’s not hard to tell that he didn’t care much about his own destiny, whether he would die or not. He tried to explain his behaviors and the reasons which caused his actions. He brought up many philosophical questions associated with the accusations of him. He used many methods to explain himself and make his points, but the goal of the speech never changed. “Rather, I have been convicted because I was at a loss, not however for speeches, but for daring and shamelessness and willingness to say the sorts of thing to you that you would have been most pleased to hear: me wailing and lamenting and doing and saying many other things unworthy of me, as I affirm- such things as you have been accustomed to hear from others” (38d). Here, Socrates clearly stated that he didn’t regret to defense himself in this way which may most likely to cause his own death. Because his defense was not for the purpose of avoiding his own death, he surprising brought another charge which he called “the first of the false accusation” (18a). Then he continued to make his defense against other charges one by one.
Since Socrates started to defense, he brought up so many questions. Socrates enjoyed to ask questions and solve them. In this speech the method he used is called the Socratic method of inquiry which is breaking down the big problem into several small issues and logically solved each small issues to find the answer of the original problems. And in order to answer these questions, the three rhetoric appeals Ethos, Logos, and Pathos were used in his defense.
Firstly, let’s look at the use of Ethos, which means to convince people of the credibility or character of the speaker. In the speech, Socrates told his audiences a story about the Delphic god who claimed that he was wisest man in the world. “Once, in...