Essay Sample on "Philosophy, Socrates and Death"

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The Athens of Socrates’s time has gone down in history as the very place wheredemocracy and freedom of speech were born. Yet that city put Socrates, its most famousphilosopher, to death. Presumably this was because it citizens did not like what he wasteaching. Yet he had been teaching there all his life, unmolested. Why did they wait untilhe was 70, and had only a few years to live, before executing him?

Not really. All our basic problems are there in miniature. I fell in love with theAthenians and the participatory democracy they developed. Free discussion was the ruleeverywhere – in the Assembly, the law courts, the theatre, and the gymnasiums wherethey spent much of their leisure. Free speech – what the Greeks called –was as much taken for granted as breathing.But then I was stopped, or stumped, by this contradictory and traumatic spectacle ofwhat they did to Socrates. These people and this city, to which I look back forinspiration – how could they have condemned this philosopher to death? How could soblatant a violation of free speech occur in a city that prided itself on freedom ofinquiry and expression?

But then I was stopped, or stumped, by this contradictory and traumatic spectacle ofwhat they did to Socrates. These people and this city, to which I look back forinspiration – how could they have condemned this philosopher to death? How could soblatant a violation of free speech occur in a city that prided itself on freedom ofinquiry and expression?

Free Essays on Death and Socrates

Socrates practiced philosophy, in an effort to know himself, daily and even in the face of his own death. In Plato’s Crito, in which Crito comes to Socrates’ prison cell to persuade Socrates to escape, Socrates wants to know whether escaping would be just, and imminent death does not deter him from seeking an answer to that question. He and Crito first establish that doing wrong willingly is always bad, and this includes returning wrong for wrong (49b-c). Then, personifying Athenian law, Socrates establishes that escaping prison would be wrong. While he acknowledges that he was wrongly found to be guilty of impiety and corrupting the youth, the legal process itself ran according to law, and to escape would be to “wrong” the laws in which he was raised and to which, by virtue of being a life-long Athenian, he agreed to assent.

Socrates Perception on Death essays

It is difficult to overlook the sometimes moralistic and fascistic tendencies in Plato’s ethical and political thought. Yet, just as he challenges his own metaphysical ideas, he also at times loosens up on his ethical and political ideals. In Phaedo, for example, Plato has Phaedo recount the story of Socrates’ final day. Phaedo says that he and other friends of Socrates arrived at the prison early, and when they were granted access to Socrates, Xanthippe, Socrates’ wife was already there with their infant son (60a), which means that Xanthippe had been there all night. Socrates, to his own pleasure, rubs his legs after the shackles have been removed (60b), which implies that even philosophers enjoy bodily pleasures. Again, Phaedo says that Socrates had a way of easing the distress of those around him—in this case, the distress of Socrates’ imminent death. Phaedo recounts how Socrates eased his pain on that particular day:

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Essay Sample on "philosophy, Socrates and Death" Essay

Socrates had the choice to go into exile and , hence, give up his philosophic vocation or be sentenced to death by drinking hemlock. Socrates chose death. In this painting, someone hands a confident Socrates the goblet of hemlock. Socrates’ hand pointing to the heavens indicating his defiance of the gods and fearless attitude to his death. hough he consulted Father Adry, a scholar on the subject, David’s depiction of Socrates death contains many historical inaccuracies. For simplicity, he removed many characters, including the wife of Socrates.

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However, he included Apollodorus, the man leaning against the wall just within the arch, even though he is said to have been sent away by Socrates for displaying too much grief. David also misrepresented the ages of many of the pupils of Socrates, including Plato. Plato would have been a young man at the time of Socrates’s death, but in this painting he is the old man sitting at the foot of the bed. Even the face of Socrates is much more idealized than the classical bust that is typically used as a reference portrait of Socrates. [3] David uses color to highlight the emotion in this painting.


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The Death of Socrates” was painted by a French painter . His name was Jacques Louis David. The painting represents the scene of the death of Greek philosopher Socrates. He was condemned to die by drinking hemlock for the expression of his ideas against those of Athens’ and corrupting the minds of the youth. The painting also depicts both Plato and Crito, with the former sitting at the edge of the bed and the latter clutching the knee of Socrates.

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David’s signature placement often had symbolic meaning – for example, in his painting of Count Potocki, David signed in the collarof the dog that is barking at the sitter. In Death of Socrates, his signatures also have meaning. His initials under Plato are a reference to the fact that the story comes from Plato, a thanks for the inspiration. His fuller signature under Crito means that this is the character whom the artist identifies most with. This may be a reference for Crito’s position in the composition – clutching Socrates’s thigh.

Socrates Perception on Death essays Socrates is a man who went through life with a very distinct and ironic attitude toward death, incomparable to the ordinary person.

Virtue plays a major role in Socrates' execution, though not due to his definition of it. As Socrates spells out in the Apology, true pursuers of virtue choose actions according entirely to the merit of each given decision. Considerations such as fame, fortune, andÐ'--most importantÐ'--death should not weigh into the decision of how to act in any situation. For this reason, Socrates refuses to cease teaching the principles for which he has received an indictment, as to do so would be to sacrifice the proper course of action for the safe one. Such a decision would not manifest virtue and as such should be forbidden. Furthermore, Socrates' commitment to virtue regardless of mortal adversityÐ'--resulting from considerations, like those in the Phaedo, of the soul's immortalityÐ'--keeps him from fleeing his execution when the opportunity arises. In this fashion, Socrates' virtue, like his conception of wisdom, helps guarantee his death.