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Analysis of Socrates' Passage in Apology - Essay Example

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In Apology, he quoted: For if you kill me you will not easily find another like me, who, if I may use such a ludicrous figure of speech, am a sort of gadfly, given to the state by the god; and the state is like a great and noble steed who is tardy in his motions owing to his very size, and requires to be stirred into life (Plato, in McIntyre 20). In this statement, Socrates compares himself to a gadfly – a biting, noisy insect commonly found buzzing around and refers to the state as the horses. What Socrates meant by this is that his frequent questioning (or “biting”) is intended to wake the state up. For him, the people during that era were in an idle stage because they are just accepting the things that have been set for them by the previous generations, by the government, the rich and powerful, or by the church. Socrates does not want that. Socrates would like the people to wake up, ask questions that challenge their minds, like – Where are we from? Is there really a god? Why do we live? He wanted to bring the people to reality by taking them out of their ignorance. I think what Socrates feels is that ignorance is like a chain that restrains the people and the first way to make them free is to recognize that they still do not know everything. For Socrates, the “horses” (referred in his statement as the state) only looks at him as a “gadfly” or a nuisance. ...
Socrates sees himself as a catalyst whose purpose is to formulate questions to irritate a person’s minds. Socrates understands that this is the foundation of progress and change. He asked questions and attempted to find answers for them; questions that lead to another questions; questions that probably made the citizens annoyed of him; questions that reduced the nobles and the most powerful into blubbering idiots (Ober “Socrates” 11). Socrates said further: I daresay that you may feel irritated at being suddenly awakened when you are caught napping… then you would sleep on for the remainder of your lives unless God in his care of you gives you another gadfly. This statement means that Socrates also served as a critique to those who are in power and pointed out their mistakes. Of course when someone does that to people with power, they will go mad at you, hence he was condemned to prison. However, he reminded the people that if they do not want him to point out their mistakes, then they will never realize that there is something wrong with the system. And therefore, we will not be able to adjust the world into something more that is more just and something more human. For me, Socrates is truly God’s precious gift. It is difficult to find someone with a mind as inquisitive as he is and someone who is willing to swim against the current, someone who willingly labeled himself as a gadfly in order to bring about change. By becoming a gadfly, Socrates opened a trend to the philosophers of the new generations. More and more people are acting like gadflies themselves. People are nowadays asking more questions and finding ways on how the humanity can improve. The journalists and the mass media for example are ...Show more
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Firstname Lastname 29 May 2015 Analysis of Socrates’ Passage in Apology Despite his contributions to the foundations of philosophy as we have known today, it is a cruel irony that at 70 years old, Socrates was convicted to death for allegedly corrupting the youth’s minds…
Analysis of Socrates Passage in Apology
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