A Case for Life in the Hour of Death
The Trial and Defense of Socrates
A. Socrates refutes the warning to not be “deceived by the force of my eloquence (p.
19, line 6).”
B. Socrates declares that the whole the truth of the matter shall be heard.
C. He is more than seventy years old and is a stranger to the oratory skills that the
court is accustomed to (p. 19, 20).
The Old Charges and Responses
A. “Socrates, a wise man, who speculated about the heaven above, and searched into
the earth beneath, and made the worse appear the better cause (p. 20, line 13).”
B. Affidavit as to his charges.
“Socrates is an evil-doer, and a curious person, who searches into things
under the earth and in heaven, and he makes the worse appear the better
cause; and he teaches the aforesaid doctrines to others (p. 21, line 4).”
C. He is a slanderer of natural philosophy.
Aristophanes portrayed his character Socrates as a man “saying that he can
walk in the air, and talking a deal of nonsense… (p. 21, line 9).”
D. He is a teacher, a Sophist, and receives payment for his teaching thus debasing
those that he teaches (p. 20, line 21).
E. He has proclaimed he is the wisest of all men.
Upon asking the oracle, Socrates says that “the Pythian prophetess
answered, that there was no man wiser (p. 22, line 30).”
He defends by saying that other knowledgeable men (politicians, poets,
artisans) think they know but he, Socrates, neither knows nor thinks he