Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Sherlyn Wilson
Rhetoric 103A 

Socrates Accepts His Death
Benjamin Jowett translation, “Plato’s Apology 399 (B.C.E.), Socrates Makes peace with death in the wake that Meletus is charging him for the sake of accusers who wants to see Socrates punished out of envious ill will intentions and seek the revenge of evil-doers. In that he is on trial and being accused of corrupting youth and for the refusing to acknowledge the Gods of the state, Socrates has to defend himself against those who make such a fuss about an old wise man who is eloquent and articulate with speech and displays an amount of wisdom that is exalted among the youth. These plaintiffs fear that Socrates may be able to persuade the court’s judge to vote different rendering him a verdict that will spare his life for which they seek death. Socrates is of an educated background he is a proud and confident man. He didn’t boast in pride yet he had pride. He is for sure that his cause will be defended by justice knowing that he may not get a fair trial he made a request because he is well know and ask to be treated as any person who is a stranger and is given certain judicial rights to speak or be seen in a professional manner. Act as if the courts do not know of him and his ways so that he may be accepted without any biases against him before his trial can proceed. However, Socrates argues that he speaks nothing but truth and if that is to make him guilty then to let the courts make their decision for he will not fight against what is meant to be. He is obedient to the law and starts with the defense of old accusations that has followed him for many years which he feels more afraid of these lies then the associates who have spreaded them. The fact that he has to clear gossip from childhood makes for a hard task but he begins with lies of him not believing in a heavenly god. He has to defend against the ghost of these people because he can’t have them in the courts for he is fighting a battle he can’t get an answer from.
Socrates defends himself and then he comes to peace with the fact that he much rather die for the sake of truth then to agree to what his accusers are making what he believes to be false accusations. Socrates thinks that with all the trouble he is going through to prove his self worth his life may just be better after death. But Plato feels any person or human is capable to transform into a divine being after death only if they have shown high respect for standards and morals and did not consume in a materialistic lifestyle while on earth. Perhaps, Plato’s reasoning for this belief is that as long as the person didn’t worry about being a good creature then their soul makes good for a perfect transformation whatever is meant to be. However, Socrates, lack the fear of death because his understanding of death is not in the same capacity that most men fear death. Socrates feels that men only fear from a pretense of wisdom that’s unknown so why be foolish about that which we do not know or been through before.
Socrates had more of an optimistic view on his death than most persons would be, he felt that if he reflected on death as a greater good then he had reason to hope that death will bring him one of two things “either death is a state of nothingness and utter unconsciousness, or as men say, a change in migration of the soul to another world. (98)”  He makes reference that there is a possibility that his death or death in general could be the way that a soul may be brought to a peaceful slumber sleep or that the person will be able to talk to those of the past and could ask for guidance and seek peace in questions of unknown truthful knowledge that hinders the burdens of the body. Thus, death would be a way to be able to get answers or even deliverance from the ones who proceed over the justice system. Socrates knows he will die no matter how much he tries to clear his name and the accusations that he claims to be in a negative view point of his accusers, but he is alright with his outcome. He doesn’t like the fact that the ones who are the condemning squad will freely live on. He goes on to question if it’s a good decision for him to die and them to live which he focus on for a short time because he is still at peace of mind with the decision and acknowledges that only God knows what’s righteous and fair. However, he knows that he’ll soon meet his end and depart into a life of eternity somewhere somehow just not sure of in what way. I learned the he has so embraced his departure from this earthly burdens that he has begged a favor of the courts to do the same as to punish his sons when they get older to trouble them as he has troubled the courts and the accusers if they are to desire riches or anything more than righteousness, or if they pretend to be more than mediocre. He wants no son of his to think that he is above justice. He believes even in his death that pilgrimage would be worth traveling as to another world that has peace and tranquility. He makes death out to be a glorious experience that one should look forward to. I almost felt like it was some place I would like to go. He makes sure to say that if the court's think by killing him that his accusers will leave everyone at their own life, well they are truly mistakenly wrong; because the accusers will find someone else to victimize. And it just may be that in the judicial system. He goes on to make clear that he is also pleased with infinite delight in fact that he will be allowed to converse with the leaders of the great Trojan expedition or Odysseus or Sisyphus or a great number of others. He sounds like he has influenced himself in knowing he will find certainty in being happier in a place that you can no longer be put to death he would become immortal if what is expected as he does. He longs to meet his sons in the future and almost gives his blessings to the courts for his death in receiving his justice at the mercy of Meletus.

1 comment:

Kuan said...

This is a good start; you do some effective paraphrasing, but a précis needs to have more than just paraphrasing. It would help if you isolated what you took to be one major thesis in Socrates' speech (for example, the unknown nature of death and how he intends to approach it). From that one point, you can slow down and dissect exactly what that argument is and how it functions logically and rhetorically.
In the future, it will help you integrate a lot more textual evidence in order to convincingly ground your exposition in specific moments of the passage.