Plata: The Trial And Death Of Socrates Essay, Research Paper
The Trial and Death of Socrates
Book 4: Phaedo
Socrates is admired for his willingness to explore an argument wherever it would lead as well as having the moral courage to follow its conclusion. Socrates, the master of argumentation, manages to make his points through creative word choices and his eloquent speeches. In book 4, of The Trial and Death of Socrates, Socrates uses his gracious speaking style to prove his debate of life after death.
Socrates posses a great ability to portray his controversial ideas through simplistic analogies. He speaks of a circle, or compensation, in nature, which represents one soul exiting a body and finding a new one. He compares the circle to a line, the line portraying the opposing idea that life ends after death, the idea that there is nothing more to look forwards to. He says that if generations went in a straight line, there would be no change, the same form would be repeated generation after generation. Life in a world of lines would be a continuous flow of action with ?no turn or return into one another?(pg. 70).
Socrates continues on with his theory, using an example of the simple task of sleeping and waking. He refers to a story called, Endymion, and sates that if there were no compensation of sleeping and waking then the story of Endymion would be a pointless one. Since, not many would be concerned that Endymion was not waking, considering the fact that every other creature would also not be awaking. He uses this story, and compares to life and death. If all things, which consist of life, were to die and not continue on with life after death, and simply remained in the form of death, eventually nothing would be alive. This helps to prove his statement that all living things that encounter death will eventually continue on living; it is a continuous cycle.
He continues with his point, by using the idea of knowledge. The idea that living things were not just born with knowledge, they must have known the idea beforehand. Socrates speaks of lovers; the feeling that arises among them when they recognize a lyre or anything else which they lovers had been in the habit of using. He questions how they recognize this object has a symbol of love. Socrates states that knowledge his simply recollection, ??a process of recovering that which has been forgotten through time and inattention.? (Pg. 71).
Socrates is able to convey his arguments thoroughly, in a manner, which not many are able to mimic. Socrates demonstrates his theory of life after death with such skill that is impossible to believe that anyone can have an opposing argument after he has finished.