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Analyzing the Apology by Plato Firstname Lastname Course 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.
“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. ...
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