Analysis Essay on Death and Trial of Socrates
Socrates, who is known to have an amicable and enigmatic character, stands as one of the most influential proponents of the classical western philosophy. His movement and activities mostly entailed probing and questioning the state and paradigms of knowledge in line with consistency of philosophical attributes. Ostensibly, his value systems and philosophical character of investigating knowledge about poets, craftspeople, and leaders culminated in his demise as it is seen by his jurors (Brickhouse & Smith, 1989). Thus, the main objective of this paper is to critically examine Socrates’ argument during the grave and sentimental dialogues with his students about things which entail the ornaments of soul, and the harm they can bring to the soul if people expressed themselves badly after the ruling on his death sentence.
To begin with, Socrates points out that just like the physical body takes pleasure of earthly materials, the soul also aligns itself with pleasurable and admirable attributes with the help of ornamentation. An ornament is a little, elegant, or fancy object, placed on something for the purpose of attractiveness, or a move, gesture, quality, behavior that exhibits something as attractive and desirable (Ornament, n.d). Socrates believes that person’s own personal elements such as courage, righteousness, truth, and freedom compose the ornaments of soul. It is these ornaments that make person attractive on the inner side (Plato, 1982). I believe that individuals who are truthful, courageous, and righteous appear and behave in a manner that is acceptable. In fact, the world honors and loves people who express the ornaments of soul. Therefore, in my opinion, Socrates is justified in referring to these attributes as the ornaments of soul.
However, Socrates says that by having the ornaments of soul, people “await the journey to the underworld” (Plato, 2002, p. 115). Therefore, it is clear that Socrates suggests that if individuals express themselves badly, the connection between their soul and the underworld is lost, and their soul is harmed. Additionally, expressing badly affects the overall happiness of a person. From a religious perspective, the soul is described as the key to existence and happiness and as the connection between the physical and the spirit world (Mark 8:36, The New King James Version). Apparently, the soul should not be harmed by expressing oneself badly. Such behavior includes being angry, bitter, and unfriendly among the other unpleasant ways.
In conclusion, in his death scene “Phaedo,” Socrates advices and inspires his students to behave and conduct themselves appropriately even after his execution. He asserts that at one point everyone dies, and his time has come. Therefore, they had to put positive ornaments such as truthfulness, courageousness, and righteousness in their souls. Failure to exhibit such character would harm their souls, and their journey into the underworld would be compromised. In the defense of Socrates, I would like to say that I think his beliefs, values, and aspirations as a positive way of living.
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