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Wes Wagner

Honors World Civ
Period Three

Instead of apologizing for Socrates’ actions, Plato uses his apology to criticize
Athenian Democracy. He doesn’t perform the accustomed ritual of bringing your children
and relatives to sob and to act desperate. Plato didn’t submit and beg for Socrates release and
yield to the crowd or the masses. He used him criticize and pick flaws at the government.

The first thing Plato did was making a comparison. He compared giving your horse to
a horse trainer to train it rather than training it yourself or letting a large group of untrained
people to train your horse to the way Athenian children should be taught. Plato stated that a
small group of wise people should train the children and not let the entire population teach
them. If the entire population taught them, they will have different views and different ways
of teaching and the process of giving information would be very slow.

Another way Plato uses Socrates to criticize Athenian Democracy is by mocking the
leaders of the government. Plato states that the politicians, mechanics, philosophers, and pets
aren’t as wise as everyone thinks of them. Although, he didn’t say he was wiser than any of
them. He didn’t put them down to prove how he was wise, but he was making a point that
only god is wise. While saying that only God was wise, he dismisses the accusations that he
himself was Atheistic.

Plato moved on to Meletus, a citizen who accused Socrates of being evil. Plato asks
him, if Socrates was the corrupter of the youth, then who was the teacher of the youth.
Meletus, falling victim to Plato’s trap, states that all in Athens improve youth, except for
Socrates. Plato then asks how do horses help improve youth which leads to that all Athens
can’t all help the youth and that a small group of people should teach them referring to the
horse trainer again.

At this point after several arguments, Plato refuses to submit to the masses and the
crowd draws angry. He compares his situation to a person waiting at a post knowing the
enemy is drawing near. If that person leaves, he will be okay, but if he stays, certain death
will follow. He asked why death was bad though and what was to be afraid of it because we
do not know how death works.