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“I am that gadfly which God has attached to the state, and all day long and in all places am always fastening upon you, arousing and persuading and reproaching you” (Plato, 399 BCE) The continued vein of thought associates the idea of an easy death with the possibility of additional irritants. Clearly Socrates believes that while his existence is an irritant to the state it is an irritant that should be accepted as the alternatives are simply more of the same. The idea of freedom of speech can be equated to Socrates brilliance of approach. Though what is said by some may not be appreciated by all it is necessary to have the alternatives available. Unfortunately, in many cases the state will simply terminate the threat regardless of the potential and often assured possibility of another gadfly becoming a persistent irritant in speaking against the state. Of the passage another portion immediately becomes glaringly apparent. His use of God as a defense is admirable and shows a persistent desire to enlighten even the most hard headed of the state’s prosecution against him. If one believes in a God or Supreme Being then it stands to reason that his appearing as an irritant that can potentially cause many problems is given by God. “For if you kill me you will not easily find a successor to me, who, if I may use such a ludicrous figure of speech, am a sort of gadfly, given to the state by God” (Plato, 399 BCE) In addition to his appeal to a higher power is his appeal to singular ability with the line, “You will not easily find another like me, and therefore I would advise you to spare me” (Plato, 399 BCE). And he is right, for every human is irreplaceable as every human is singularly unique. Unfortunately, this argument goes against the other arguments regarding the likelihood of additional gadflies appearing and continuing the harassment of the state. For if he is truly unique then one can rightly assume that it is likely he will not be replaced. More importantly is the thinly veiled message to the state, while it may feel good ridding itself of a stinging, biting nuisance for a while this is no long term solution to any problem. Easily equated to this are the modern movements speaking against state excess and immorality of conflicts and more; while the message is not easily accepted or acted upon by the state, it may become necessary to stop the problem of the gadfly by cleaning up the horse. Again using a modern approach, to stop the protests, articles and various messages against the state it would seem that the easiest course for long term comfort would be the reduction of immoral wars and greed. Plato uses the literal idea of death faced by Socrates both during and after his trial in order to develop the more philosophical concept of philosophy as a pursuit of death. For Plato, the melete thanatou involves the lack of a true fear of physical death but more a fear that the knowledge obtained and passed on by himself will be lost. “I were to desert my post through fear of death, or any other fear; that would indeed be strange, and I might justly be arraigned in court for denying the existence of the gods, if I disobeyed the oracle because I was afraid of death, fancying that I was wise when I was not wise” (Plato, 399 BCE). He did not care so much for the minutia of theological argumentation but more the ...Show more


Analyzing the Apology by Plato Firstname Last number month-name day, year Instructor name Analyzing the Apology by Plato The most striking aspect of this passage is the Gadfly metaphor in which Socrates likens himself to a horsefly. This image, perhaps more than any other used by Socrates, depicts the life of the philosopher in relation to the State…
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THE APLOGY BY PLATO essay example
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