From the first line of Apology
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“I do not know, men of Athens,” it would not be wrong to say that the literal meaning of this line is that Socrates tried to mention the great Jury of Athens whom he called “men of Athens,” and that for him the jury members were unknown personalities of values, judgments, and morals.
However, from this line, the figurative meaning, as I believe, might be that Socrates states that line as he always considered his personality different from others, concerning his knowledge and wisdom, over which he always acts overwhelmingly and that is clear from the way he addresses in public.
In other words, he always tried to make statements different from others to show his unique personality and the value of his rational ability among others. Besides, the first line foreshadows the rest of the dialogue that Socrates has tried to speak with the jury of Athens in the way that shows Socrates and his accuse behavior, extremely opposite, against the jury of Athens.
From Apology, it is deep-rooted that the occupation of Socrates was not like other’s occupation, as he never did a physical type of work, but an intellectual one. In reality, Socrates says about his occupation that he is the man of wisdom and his occupation is to find those who consider and mention themselves as wise among others.
In other words, Socrates tries to say that his occupation is to observe wisdom, especially human wisdom. Also, the story about the oracle at Delphi helps us make sense of Socrates’ occupation to practice and find wisdom in human nature.
In other words, as the servants of god Apollo have practiced their wisdom to find the right way, directly linked with their Apollo god, same is the case with Socrates who also tried to display his personality as full of wisdom and that god Apollo and Chaerephon Socrates’ friend were witnesses of the fact that Socrates was itself wisdom and his major occupation was to find and seek those who claim human wisdom.
According to Socrates “I acquired much unpopularity” because he always wished to serve god. In a broader sense, he always considered his personality as wise than any other person in Athens, and, for this fact, he always used his wisdom to serve the god, but not men.
For this reason, Socrates states that he has gained unpopularity than others as he never bothered about the world and others, but those who show and claim their wisdom. In fact, for Socrates, those who ever display their wisdom tend to practice among common men, but Socrates always lived under the support of his served god.
Because of his extreme engagement with the service of his god, he never tried to involve in public affairs and, for this reason, he has gained much unpopularity among others.
Socrates has claimed about the formal charges that people along with the jury of Athens have offered to Socrates. In this regard, the major formal charges that were offered, at the time, involve ‘corrupting the youth’ and ‘denying the gods of Athens.
In reality, Socrates always tried to teach the youth of Athens about the nature of human life and the value of using human wisdom in every matter of human life. Also, for him, the god of the people of Athens has nothing to do with human wisdom, but their services as mere slanders.
In this regard, Socrates tried to offer arguments against his charges when he directs Meletus and asked him about who is responsible for bringing the people in court and who is responsible for taking those matters whom Meletus himself never cared about.
Over this argument, Socrates tried to make his personality clear in front of the people of Athens, to show them that he has nothing to do with the changes and improvements that occur in youth, but Meletus.
From his argument, it becomes clearer that he tries to show the people of Athens that he only offered his services for the path of wisdom and not for betraying the youth, especially when it comes about to obey the gods of Athens.
At margin number 35e, Socrates claims that he is god’s gift to the people of Athens because Socrates was the only person who was wise and who has observed the human wisdom through different matters of the people of Athens such as the idea of democracy.
I believe that Socrates claimed that he is god’s gift, as there was no single man at the time whoever spoke of truth and did not even practice wisdom-based ideas and thoughts among others.
In a broader sense, Socrates was the person who was intellectual and who can see deep into the public affairs along with the matters that are far-reaching to the human mind such as the idea of the existence of god.
For example, for Socrates, there is no such thing as god, but the spirit, invisible to the human eye and human ability to see things beyond the reality of this material world of the affair.
Therefore, he made such a defense to show his value as a person of having competed for wisdom ever experience and practice by any men of Athens.
When Socrates was found guilty, he was proposed to decide his punishment. In this regard, Socrates decides his death punishment. In this concern, I believe that Socrates proposed this punishment because no single man in the Athens ever considers the value and existence of Socrates among the people of Athens and that he never acted in the way as the other people of Athens acted.
Also, I believe that he proposed such type of punishment for him, as the way of living and surviving life, for Socrates, was completely different than the others, as he never wished for any kind of human-like desire such as wealth and never involve in matters like household affairs.
Socrates Final thoughts on Death:
For Socrates death is not the end of his personality as a wise person, but the transformation of his existence. Socrates realized about those who were in support of his death and for them.
Socrates also states that vengeance will come after them right after his death, as he believes that every man will be tested by others and, for this fact, death would be the preference for each of them, as a result of their failure to explain their truthfulness among others.
Do you think Socrates was trying to defend himself?
Socrates was not trying to save himself but to show others about the fact that if a person is not useful to others and himself than there is no place for him to live among others.
From this fact, it becomes clearer that he had established an agenda revolving around the fact that men should always live life in the way beneficial for others and himself as well and supported by the truth and true nature of wisdom as well.
For example, Socrates always follows the truth with the use of his wisdom, and, for this fact, he wished others to identify their truth, based on their wisdom. Therefore, his agenda is to show people their worth as the source of human wisdom, as an agenda hidden in Socrates’ defense at trial.