The Trial of Socrates: A Poetic Interpretation of Plato’s Apology of Socrates (Introduction). Copyright © 2020 by Alan Steinle. All rights reserved.
To view all posts in this series, click here.
The Apology of Socrates is Plato’s account of Socrates’ defense of himself in a court of law. The present work is a poetic interpretation of Plato’s account. My poem, as an interpretation, does not claim to be completely perfect or perfectly complete, but it does attempt to capture the main ideas of Plato’s work, as well as to maintain the spirit of Socrates.
I recommend that you read a prose translation of the Apology of Socrates if you haven’t already. That way, you can get a fuller picture of this important work.
This poem could be filed under the “dramatic monologue” genre. In the original “dialogue,” Socrates aims a few questions at Meletus (one of his accusers), but I have not included those questions in this poem.
This poem was written in iambic tetrameter, which is similar to iambic pentameter. Iambic tetrameter consists of four iambs and eight syllables per line, while iambic pentameter consists of five iambs and ten syllables per line. An iamb (or iambic foot) is one weakly stressed syllable followed by one strongly stressed syllable. This poem consists of a series of six-line stanzas and the rhyme scheme of each stanza is ababcc.
I would like to thank my friend Dr. William Engels for his constructive criticism and helpful editorial suggestions. The faults that remain in this poem can be attributed to my ignorance, laziness, or stubbornness.
I am planning to post about seven stanzas each day, and to publish the entire poem in twelve days. There are a total of 83 stanzas and 498 lines (6 lines/stanza x 83 stanzas) in all.
Got to Part 1: Stanzas 1 to 7