Over load - It might seem self-defeating or...

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It might seem self-defeating or counter-productive to use an historical fiction as a vehicle for addressing a contemporary debate about an historical event. By admitting that the scenario he presents is a false one, does not the author relinquish any hope of influencing people s attitudes about the historical event in question? Fiction seems to negate the very purpose that a polemical tract serves, namely, to convince. For this reason, it is understandable that many scholars who view the Apology as fictitious see it as an expression of Plato s own ideas rather than as a narrow polemic. In fact, however, even avowedly fictional portrayals of historical events can be used in order to influence and shape public attitudes concerning those events. Modern docu-dramas can have a powerful effect on public perceptions, even when they are clearly labeled as fiction. Some of the openly fictitious works about Socrates were undeniably polemical. While it is perhaps possible (though wrong) to imagine that Plato s Socrates, or even Xenophon s,34 is a purely fictional or literary character, it is more difficult to imagine what purely literary purpose could have been served by the postmortem attack on Socrates by Polycrates. And yet, as far as we can judge, it did not aim at historical verisimilitude either.35 Plato does not expect the reader really to believe that this is the speech that Socrates spoke in court. But he does expect to affect the reader
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Over load - It might seem self-defeating or...

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