This not only authenticates Socrates’ claims, but also exhibits his disconnect from earlier forms of thought. Essentially, Socrates attempts to display himself in the same eight as his predecessor Achilles through their shared aspiration to do what they deem to be right in addition to their readiness to die for this honor: however, Socrates also provides contrast between the two in their opposing views of the Underworld. One comparison that Socrates employs in his argument is how highly both himself and Achilles value individual morals.
That is to say, both men are more concerned with their individual sense to morality, honor, and duty to the gods and in life in general rather than with the ideals of the Athenian population. This Lincoln view on individual morality consequently led to the deaths of both men, By emphasizing his own and Achilles’ mutual respect and belief for the gods, Socrates places himself and his Greek hero counterpart on a pedestal apart from the general population.
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This is solidified when Socrates insists, “l do believe that there are gods, and in a far higher sense than that in which any of my accusers believe in them,” (The Apology, OSDL In a society where the gods are both feared and honored above all else, Socrates’ subtle implication that he and Achilles have a deeper relationship with the gods doubles as a reminder that by continuing to persecute Socrates, they will loose a valuable set to the community as a Whole. However, it later becomes evident that Socrates strays from Achilles’ “heroic” ideals in his view of what the underworld Will be.
Their ideas about What afterlife Will entail are very reflective Of their personalities; Socrates, a scholar and philosopher. Believes that death will either be “… An annihilation. ћor as we are told, it is really a change: a migration of the soul from this place to another,” (The Apology, 400. Furthermore. In a truly Socratic fashion, he continues to revel in the prospect of meeting “Orpheus and Museums, Hissed and Homer,” (The Apology, AAA) Achilles, on the other hand, always valued physical prowess and military accomplishments above all else.
Correspondingly, a man of that mentality would have little use for the burnt-out souls, regardless of whether or not they had been admirable men by Achilles’ standards while alive. Both Achilles and Socrates duly give respect to their peers where they believe it to be deserved; however, the men dieter in that Socrates believes in the continuation of valuable traits such as knowledge, while Achilles thinks that traits of Chilean merit like strength in battle cease to exist in death. Although this particular example does not highlight a similarity between
Socrates and Achilles, it is extremely effective in arguing Socrates’ case to the jury. Socrates proved time and time again that his calling in life was to philosophize and pursue the truth. Even with the threat of death looming above him, Socrates refused to falter in his conviction that knowledge and learning should be held in highest esteem. In one fell swoop, Socrates both implies that the jury should recognize his intellectual teachings as having equal to value to Achilles’ militaristic accomplishments, and states that even if they refuse to recognize the merit Of wisdom, Socrates is Willing to go to the grave defending its value.
Effectively, he is aware that in all likelihood, the jury will find him guilty as charged and he correspondingly must find a way to leave not his legacy, but rather the idea of the importance of the pursuit and exchange of knowledge above all else. This willingness to die for what he believes to be right completes his self-comparison to Achilles, At the battle of Troy, Achilles chooses almost certain death in exchange for the honor of avenging Patrols.
As Socrates paraphrases, “when his mother said to him, as he was eager to slay Hector, ‘My son, it you avenge the death tryout friend Patrols and kill Hector, you yourself hall die; for straightway, after Hector, is death appointed unto you,” (The Apology, 280. However, Socrates is relatively loose in his representation of Achilles. Homer’s Achilles is focused primarily on private affairs as seen when he only agrees to return to battle to avenge personal loss in the form of his deleted” Patrols (The Iliad, book 18, 120).
Contrastingly, Socrates represents the Greek hero as being much more absorbed by the necessity of attaining honor and justice for both himself and his peers Through this specific example, Socrates makes it apparent that, he, like Achilles before him, is both willing and blew to die if that is what it takes to find truth. He Will under no circumstances condemn any of his actions just to save his life. Socrates’ primary motivation for comparing himself to Achilles, the best Of all the classic heroes, is to convince the jury of his Chilean heroism.
One attribute Of a hero according to the events Of the Iliad is that one must either kill or be killed in the pursuit of honor. Correspondingly, the Iliad chronicles Achilles’ life and death on the natural path to heroism. Despite the fact that Socratic wisdom essentially contradicts everything Achilles does, such as “acting unjustly, turning injustice, and harming someone in self defense,” Socrates still manages to twist these actions that he wildly disagrees with to his benefit.
If the roles had been reversed and Achilles was told to use Socrates’ personality traits and actions to defend himself to a jury, he would have, in all likelihood, been unable to relate even minutely to Socrates’ view of the world. While Achilles is controlled by emotions like pride, emotion, and revenge, Socrates is capable of accepting unjust events. In the wake to Patrols’ death at the hands to Hector, Achilles is unable to separate his rage at the situation from his sense of rationality.
Essentially, he abandons heroic ideals in the heat of the moment, mutilating Hectors body, This blunder by Achilles works in Socrates’ advantage, for he is consequently able to portray himself as a hero in an even more pure sense than Achilles, since he does not allow his rage and fury to control his actions, but rather take a step back and view situations in an impersonal, clear and level state of mind. The final purpose for Socrates equating himself to Achilles lies in weighing the contributions the two men have made or could potentially made to the Achaean society.
While Achilles’ primary impact to the general public was on the tattletale, meaning that there was a definite period in Which he was more effective (in youth), Socrates had a timeless input that could be utilized far beyond his death. This disparity between the two men was predominantly used to make the jury question whether or not killing Socrates not necessarily out of spite, but not for the most logical cause either, was necessary to improve society as a whole. It is easy to see how the jury might initially view a comparison between 70 year-old, ugly, supposedly guilty Socrates and beautiful, godly, strong Achilles as utterly ludicrous.
Socrates has basically been condemned to ii a miserable death in a jail cell, while men and gods hold Achilles in high standing, Although the Achilles-Socrates metaphor originally seems to be entirely out of the realm of possibility, the comparison goes beyond Socratic irony. For Socrates to imply that a philosopher and a militaristic warrior were in any way similar could absolutely have become potentially problematic. However, Socrates manages to do so in a way that sheds an admiring light on Achilles, whose ideals and actions Socrates did not entirely agree with, while still pointing out the flaws in only dolling attributes like strength.