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Enter supporting content here. Sample Answers to Review Questions on Socrates. What is the meaning of the title of this dialogue?
Who was the author of this dialogue? Who is the main character? What was the relationship between Plato and Socrates? Plato was a pupil of Socrates. What is the setting of this dialogue? It is the trial of Socrates.
Does Apology represent an historical event? If Apology describes an historical event, how accurate is the description? Plato was present, but he was not a stenographer. How old was Socrates at the time of his trial? When and where did the trial take place? What were the legal charges brought against Socrates? Who were his accusers? What did Socrates mean by "the old charges" against him? He meant the rumors that were spread about him for many years. Why would the rumors that he had studied geology and astronomy harmful to him?
Why would someone be accused of being a scientist? There was a perception that science was a denial of religion. Why does Socrates fear the "old accusers" more than Meletus, Anytus and Lycon? What part did Aristophanes play in the reputation Socrates had acquired? Socrates realized that the reputation one has, whether deserved or not, may have a serious effect on how they are treated.
Aristophanes was a comic playwright who used a character named Socrates in a play called "Clouds;" that character had the worst characteristics attributed to the Sophists. How did Socrates offend the jury by his response to the "old charges? How does Socrates explain the origin of the prejudice against him? What was the importance of Chaerophon's visit to the oracle at Delphi? At Delphi, Chaerophon was told that no man is wiser than Socrates.
While Socrates refused to believe that a god could lie, he knew the oracle spoke ambiguously - in a Delphic way - and so he decided to discover what the oracle meant by finding people wiser than him and then asking the god at Delphi what was meant by saying he was the wisest.
This led to him questioning people in public, and making many enemies. How and where did Socrates attempt to test the oracle's pronouncement? What was the result of this testing?
He tested people's wisdom in public, and this led to his making many enemies. No one likes to be shown up in public. How did Socrates refute Meletus in the course of his cross-examination? Socrates showed, with his example of the raising of horses, that the majority was probably wrong, and the minority correct. Thus Meletus had to be wrong in asserting that everyone in Athens improved the youth except Socrates. What new charge is raised against Socrates during the cross-examination of Meletus?
How does Socrates reply to this charge? Socrates tricks Meletus into changing the second charge from not worshiping as they did to atheism. Socrates could then refute this by reminding the jury of his belief in a divine sign or guardian angel.
Since the minor deities demi-gods were thought to be the offspring of the gods, he must believe in the gods. Thus he used a fact that could have proved him guilty of not worshiping as they did and used it to prove he was not an atheist, which was not one of the original charges.
How does Socrates respond to the charge that he ought to be ashamed of living the sort of life which caused him to be brought to court? He compares himself to Achilles, who knew that if he avenged the death of Patroclus he would die, but did avenge it because it was the right thing to do.
The point was that just because something bad may happen to you, it does not mean you have done something to be ashamed of. The text includes notes on Martin Luther King's similar statement. Why does Socrates consider the fear of death to be the mere pretense of wisdom? We act as if we know that death is worse than anything else that may befall us.
But if we do not know what death is like, we are only pretending to know, e. In what way did he come to accept the pronouncement of the oracle that, "no man is wiser than Socrates?
That made it possible for him to honestly try to attain it. This recognition that we do not have all the answers is known as Socratic Ignorance. In what ways did Socrates force the jury to bring in a verdict of "guilty?
He offended the politicians, by saying one could not be a successful politician without compromising with evil. He told the jury he would listen to god rather than to them. He refused any sort of compromise. He attacked democracy by attacking the majority.
He refused to modify his customary speech or dress for the trial. There are probably many other examples you can come up with. What is meant by the characterization of Socrates as a "gadfly?
In what sense can it be said that Socrates followed his mother's profession of midwife? He was an intellectual midwife, helping people give birth to their ideas, not giving them answers. Think of the example of the proof of the Pythagorean Theorem we did in class as an example of Socratic midwifery. What evidence does he offer for his claim that he is "god's gift to Athens? He claimed that the only reason one would take on such a role is that they were called to it by god.
How does Socrates respond to the argument that he ought to have gone into politics if he sincerely wanted to improve the citizens of Athens as he claimed? As already noted, he alienated many jurors by stating that if he had gone into politics he would have been dead long ago because he refused to compromise with what he thought was wrong.
He provided two examples of how he refused to compromise and how it almost cost him his life in each case. The first was the trial of the Generals, which he would not allow to take place despite the anger of the Athenians, and the second was his disobeying the Thirty Tyrants when they ordered him to bring in Leon of Salamis.
In both cases he narrowly escaped death, but refused to go along with what he thought was wrong. In what dramatic way did Socrates challenge the claim that he had been a corrupter of the youth of Athens? He invited every member of the jury to become a witness for the prosecution by stating that they knew someone who had been corrupted by him.
Not one of the five hundred jurors came forward to accuse him of corrupting the youth. How old were the "youth of Athens? How does Socrates feel about those who would do or say anything in order to be acquitted? He states that either on a field of battle or in a court of law there are things one might do to save one's life.
But in both cases there are some things an honorable person would not do, not even at the risk of his or her life. How close was the vote by which he was found guilty? It surprised him that the vote was so close, to If only thirty people had changed their vote from guilty to innocent he would have been acquitted.
How did Socrates' suggested "punishment" affect the jury? Was the reaction predictable? His suggestion that he be treated like an Olympic hero outraged the jury, and left them no choice but to choose the death penalty proposed by Meletus, Anytus and Lycon. Olympic heroes were the most honored heroes the Athenians had, and were treated with more respect than war heroes.
Socrates certainly would have known the reaction his proposal would have. Yet he insisted he deserved to be honored more than the Olympic heroes because he helped people find true happiness while they merely amused them. Why did he reject banishment or a prison sentence as a reasonable sentence? If he were banished he would be treated as a convict in some strange land, and would not be able to continue to question people, particularly the young men who were so attracted to him. If he were in prison, he would also be prevented from doing the work he believed god Apollo wanted him to do.
What was odd about the result of the vote for death as the appropriate punishment? He had so outraged the jury with his proposal that he be treated like an Olympic hero that more people voted for death than had voted for his guilt in the first place. What prophecy did Socrates make about the reputation Athens would receive because he had been sentenced to death? Has the prophecy proved correct? He predicted that Athens would have the reputation of killing Socrates, who was a wise man, even though he claimed he had no wisdom.
The reputation they received for this trial was so unpleasant that the Athenians retried Socrates toward the end of the 20th century and found him innocent this time. How did he feel the youth of Athens would behave when he was no longer here to "corrupt" them?
Socrates thought the youth of Athens would be even more aggressive after he was dead.