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Socrates the Martyr?

October 4, 2010
by

-originally posted on 9/15

Does Socrates go about the trial with the intent of being seen as a martyr
upon his death? It certainly seems that of all the related members of the
trial, Socrates possesses the greatest intellect. Although he may deny this
fact, it also seems as if he has comprehensively mastered the art of
language. It would then seem improbable for Socrates to “lose” the
trial, with such mental acumen. Had he wanted to, I have to believe that he
would have been able to avoid any sort of punishment. He had to realize
that belittling his accusers and mocking the court system’s dynamics
would ultimately not help his case (that is if he ever wished to be proven
innocent of the charges). Socrates remained steadfast in the belief that he
had done nothing wrong and was therefore not willing to “sell out” in
admitting some wrongdoing, just to help his status in court. By so easily
guiding his trial towards a guilty verdict and horrific punishment, surely
Socrates must have felt that his peers, the majority, were not “ready”
to fully grasp or even listen to his teachings and principles. I feel as if
he may have wanted to be seen as a martyr for generations to come, knowing
that his messages could then easily survive the ages and finally reach the
majority. Did anybody else view, Socrates as a martyr, or did they at least
think that he wanted to be recognized as one? I may not have presented my
opinion perfectly, but basically the second root of my question relates to:
whether or not he really cared about the ultimate verdict, and did
everything within his power to prove himself innocent

“Know that I shall never alter my ways, not even if I have to die many
times.”
–just seemed like a powerful quote that would be indicative of
a martyr’s unwillingness to abandon their cause/beliefs

2 Comments
  1. Jameson McRae permalink
    October 5, 2010 1:23 PM

    I agree with you in the fact that Socrates was nearly careless about the verdict of the trial, he was far more concerned about spreading his beliefs and story. Socrates knew that if he were to win the trail he would end up being the scum of society and his word would no longer be able to be preached to the youth. I believe that Socrates was completely fine with dying for his beliefs and knew his word would spread far and wide. He was completely correct as he is seen of one of the greatest martyrs of all time.

  2. Olivia Jung permalink
    October 5, 2010 8:34 PM

    I agree that Socrates was very ironic and confusing about what he stood for, but I believe that he died for his own beliefs whether or not the Athenians or the government were willing to listen or understand him. Socrates was a man that was not afraid to stand up for what he believed in and would go the extra mile to let his beliefs be heard. I believe that Socrates was a martyr in a way so he can set a precedent to all the other Athenians that they should not be afraid of the aristocrats.

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