Socrates is on trial. He is accused of inciting evil and corruption, specifically against the youth. In his defense, he first acknowledges why specific men are slandering him, and then provides his reasoning. He says that is being slandered by men who use rhetoric far different from his own. His truth is apparent in his apology, as his words are clearly unplanned. It makes his opponents form of accusation seem juvenile. Nonetheless, they attack him for their own interpretation of Socrates initial attack.
Attempting to understand why a God would call him the wisest of all men, he questioned those who were also considered wise. Artisan after poet after politician, they all felt insulted after Socrates deemed them less wise. Because they claimed to know that of the unknown, Socrates viewed himself as superior. He says “for he knows nothing and thinks that he knows. I neither know more think that I know” (Plato 7).
Socrates is found guilty and condemned to death. After reasoning his charge should be settled with 30 minae from his friends’ pockets, he claims that he has never been a man of conventional norms. Forgetting wealth, military, and family for the search of virtue and wisdom. He aims to look to the state before he looks to the interests. “A man who is good for anything ought not calculate the chance of living or dying; he ought only to consider whether in doing anything he is doing right or wrong” (Plato 55). The fear of death is only the pretense of wisdom, not wisdom itself, because it is just an appearance.
The condemnation isn’t based on what he says, but what he didn’t do. The fact that he speaks his truth in place of begging leads to his death. There is no fear because death awaits him in nature shortly. Socrates chooses to remain righteous in the face of death. He says “I would rather die having spoken after my manner, than speak in your manner and live” (Plato 68). He is not mad at his circumstance because no evil can befall a good man.
“The Internet Classics Archive: Apology by Plato.” The Internet Classics Archive | Apology by Plato, classics.mit.edu/Plato/apology.html.