Socrates And The Apology Socrates And Death Essay

Length: 3 pages Sources: 4 Subject: Black Studies - Philosophy Type: Essay Paper: #16035326 Related Topics: Black Death, Death And Dying, Life After Death, Afterlife
Excerpt from Essay :

Socrates and the Apology

Socrates and Death in the Apology

In The Apology, Socrates contrasts his ability to address the crowd against more skillful speakers stating that he offers truth over eloquence (17b). In essence, he infers that others use the power of persuasion and slick words to sway others vs. The truth. He postulates that there are others who will always present a skewed depiction of the facts in order to win favor. We see this played out in modern arenas where public discourse relies on competing factions presenting two sides of an issue.

At this time in America, the public is flooded with messaging regarding the Presidential race (i.e., political debates, advertising campaigns and political speeches). Presidential candidates are each presenting "facts" that support their criticism of their opponent's character, views, plans for the country and stance on issues that impact the daily lives of military personnel and American families. While one could argue that there are pros and cons associated with both candidates, those running for office are often scrutinized and either loved or loathed for their oratory skill as much as for their politics. In many Presidential elections throughout history, the best debaters are the ones who win office. If this were not the case, there would not necessarily be a need for...


Each side accuses the other of lying on select topics. Meanwhile, the public begins to look at the personality traits and storytelling ability of the candidates as signposts of who is more trustworthy and honest. According to Weiner and Nicholas, "the effect of candidate oration influences the voters' eventual choice for president" (22). There will always be a need for presidential candidates to be able to speak in a manner that relates to the majority of voters -- the truth often becomes a slippery and debatable issue.

Socrates also describes himself as being unafraid of death. Many of us fear death because of its permanent and unknown characteristics -- does it hurt, what lies on the other side, is there a heaven and hell, is it a blessing and peaceful state of being. There are many questions and the only true way to know the answer is to experience death firsthand. Socrates pondered the question of death and resolved that it would be an opportunity so long as he had right on his side. He described it as an extended slumber or perhaps the beginning of an existence somewhere else (40d). Either way it was something to be welcomed and not feared. He displayed courage in the face of the unknown, while also infuriating many of his accusers because he did not express fright at the thought of the most severe punishment they could impose upon him (Jim 27).

At 39b in The Apology, Socrates states, "It is not difficult to avoid death, gentlemen; it is much more difficult to avoid wickedness, for it runs faster than death." This implies that those who would sentence one to death are closest to wickedness and evil. He uses this to further substantiate himself as a just and truthful man. If one is innocent, why fear? Perhaps he is also stating that there are better days, conditions and experiences that lie ahead for those who experience death. His conviction flies in the face of the popular belief of the afterlife for the guilty at that time which was Hades (Kateb 356). Socrates argued that perhaps it is far better to be dead than to live a life based…

Sources Used in Documents:


Jim, Holt. "Death: Bad?." New York Times Book Review (2009): 27. Academic Search Premier. Web. 4 Nov. 2012.

Kateb, George. "Morality And Self-Sacrifice, Martyrdom And Self-Denial." Social Research 75.2 (2008): 353-394. Academic Search Premier. Web. 4 Nov. 2012.

Kronick, Joseph G. "The Death Of Theory And The Example Of Socrates." Southwest Review 91.4 (2006): 455-466. Academic Search Premier. Web. 4 Nov. 2012.

Weiner, Jocelyn Sage, and Nicholas G. Mitchell. "Talking Their Way Into The Presidency: The Importance Of Oratory Style In Pre-Presidential Discourse." Conference Papers -- American Political Science Association (2007): 1-27. Academic Search Premier. Web. 4 Nov. 2012.

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