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Plato’s Republic - Essay Example
Socrates lived his life during a period when there was a great deal of transition from the heights of Athenian domination till the time such domination declined after Sparta and its allies became victorious over Athens. Athens was seeking to restore stability in attempts of recovering from the crushing defeat…
Socrates was outspoken in criticizing the new government and after the Democrats took hold of power, Socrates’ relationship with the oligarchic set up made his enemies to find appropriate reasons to make him face trial. They charged him with corrupting the youth of Athens through immoral ways and in spite of his articulately expressed defense, Socrates was held guilty and condemned to death. In his Apology, Plato has recorded the last days of Socates’ life. Socrates continued to remain staunch and true to his belief system and was unwilling to go back on his past statements. He even refused the offer of exile and willingly ingested the cup of hemlock poison that ended his life. This paper holds that the charges against Socrates did not have strength and that they were primarily a result of the ongoing political strife amongst the varied claimants who wanted to lose no opportunity in claiming positions of authority in the newly established democracy. The defense for Socrates will be substantiated by repeatedly referring to Plato’s Republic because there is considerable circumstantial evidence in this work to steer him clear of the charges of corrupting Athenian youth (p.36).
We know that Socrates was charged of corrupting the youth through a few contemporary Greek sources; Plato, Xenophon and the playwright Aristophanes. The Republic was born in Plato’s mind in his early youth while he was hopeful of becoming a politician. At this time he was much impressed with Socrates and became his pupil informally. ...