Reading Questions: Plato?s Apology 1. What is Socrates on trial for, and how does he go about defending himself? Who are the two sets of accusers he names, and how does he respond to each? How are the groups linked in his mind? Is one more dangerous than the other? 2. What function does the story of the Delphic oracular pronouncement about Socrates (20e and following) play in the speech? How does Socrates test the oracle and how does he conceive of his mission from god (in this case, ?the god? is clearly Apollo)? What is the daimonion of Socrates, and what role does it play in the Apology? Do you find Socrates? defense concerning introducing new ?gods? convincing? 3. What do we learn about scientists, philosophers, and sophists from the speech, and about how they were perceived by the common Athenian? 4. What details do we learn from the Apology about recent historical events and Socrates? role in them? Why does Socrates bring these things up? Do they provide some clue as to why Socrates was brought to trial in 399? What details do we learn about the nuts and bolts of the political and of the judicial systems of 5th century democratic Athens? 5. How does Socrates here compare to that of the Euthyphro? To that of the Clouds? What sort of person is he? Is he a teacher or not? What can you gather from the speech about Socrates? beliefs about civic, personal, and religious responsibilities? 6. Once found guilty of his charges, what alternative to death does Socrates propose as his ?just desserts?? Do you find his suggestion of reward rather than punishment surprise you? Is Socrates purposefully insulting the jurors at the most inopportune time, or is it really true that he is too much of an idealist to recommend anything else? What motivation might Plato have had for writing this part of the speech this way? 7. How does Socrates treat death and the possibilities of what occurs (or doesn?t occur) after death? Do you find his argument particularly... comforting, ineffective, incomplete, wrongheaded, wise, ridiculous? 8. How does Socrates?as depicted here?compare to other famous ?martyrs for justice? throughout history? Does he seem a particularly admirable figure here? Would you yourself like to be a ?gadfly? to the people you know, if some god so ordained it?
Want to see the other 1 page(s) in Reading Questions 11-19-09.doc?JOIN TODAY FOR FREE!