Book Review- Plato’s Apology

Plato’s Apology was an incredible story of humankind’s ability to make quick thoughtless judgements on other people. This story is the perfect example of man making something that should be simple, into something complex just because he was offended by what another man said to him and others like him. Man tends to be offended too quickly and that makes them want to lash out without thinking everything that happened through. This was a wonderful example of a well thought out argument, even though it did not succeed, the argument was true and right. Apology was a story about unrighteous judgement and charges against a man not doing great harm, how this man reacted purely towards those accusations and how arguments should be executed.

The ill attempt at trying to get back at a man for a petty offense is what brings this story into the light. The charges brought against Socrates, if you can even call them actual charges, is that of pure evil-doing. Many a man felt negativity towards Socrates, however Meletus was the one foremost in play at promoting such vial charges against an innocent man. Meletus suggests that Socrates is an evil-doing atheist who corrupts the youth. On page 2 he said that “he makes the worse appear better” (Plato 2) and then he preaches it out to all the young impressionable people. Meletus as well as others, such as Anytus, and Lycon want to ensure the death penalty for what exactly is later realized is due to the fact that they got their feelings hurt by a man telling them the truth.

I have never read or heard a man in so desperate a situation as he that he stands in such calm demeanor while defending his life against such trivial untruths such are the ones he is accused of (that is besides Jesus Christ). At the time of this trivial trial, Socrates was a seventy-year-old man, defending himself against such juvenile delinquents who couldn’t even provide a good argument, so they told untruths, and couldn’t even speak when spoken to directly when asked for a simple answer. Socrates was always in such a calm but pure manner as he described the whole truth as he recalls; he never rose his voice, never said an unkind word, he only spoke the truth in such a way that you knew he was not guilty of the charges presented to him. You could tell that he was just and that whatever decision the court prescribed he would willingly adhere to. He even said on page 2 “Let the event be as God wills: in obedience to the law I make my defense” (Plato 2). You knew that he meant it all the way to the end, the end of his life even. On page 11 he said that “A man who is good for anything ought not to calculate the chance of living or dying; he ought only to consider whether in doing anything he is doing right or wrong—acting the part of a good man or of a bad” (Plato 11). Though by the end, he did not beg, cry nor wail like others have, he did try to reason with the jury for a lighter sentence, like paying for his life; he always remained sane even after hearing his sentence. Socrates did say, “I expected this” (Plato 17). At the end of it all, Socrates was acting as a proper, well minded man should and he deserved better than he got, or like he said at the end of which is better, life or death, “God only knows” (Plato 22).

I believe his arguments to be one of the most persuasive of all arguments to be heard. First and foremost, he never once wavered from him calm, sound minded, reasoning demeanor.  Even though his mission maybe could’ve sounded peculiar to some, saying he was superior to most, telling people they weren’t as wise as they thought they were, thus proving only God to be wise, the claims and accusations thrown at Socrates were just boldface lies. Socrates clearly and simply shows that the charges are made up nonsense in the face of not having anything real to throw towards him. I was most persuaded by Socrates because of his way of remaining the same throughout it all. He said “But I have been always the same in all my actions, public as well as private” (Plato 14). I knew based on his entire testimony that all he wanted was truth and justice and he would spend his last breath on defending it. Socrates said “I do know that injustice and disobedience to a better, whether God or man, is evil and dishonorable, and I will never fear or avoid a possible good rather than a certain evil” (Plato 11). I believe he followed through in his life’s quest and he did a fine job persuading me.

Works Cited

Plato, and Benjamin Jowett. Six great dialogues: Apology, Crito, Phaedo, Phaedrus, Symposium and the Republic. Place of publication not identified: BN Publishing, 2010. Print.


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