The Trial of Socrates (Stanzas 51 to 56)

The Trial of Socrates: A Poetic Interpretation of Plato’s Apology of Socrates (Part 8 of 12). Copyright © 2020 by Alan Steinle. All rights reserved.

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Go to the Beginning
Go to Part 9: Stanzas 57 to 62

Part 2: After the Verdict

The votes are cast, and Socrates is found guilty by a majority of the votes.

[51 of 83]
O men of Athens, I’m not grieved
At these events, for I received
A vote of guilt, as I believed,
And thus your aims have been achieved.
But I did not expect to see
The end determined just by three.

[52 of 83]
If three had changed their guilty votes,
Then I would soon have been released;
But this decision now connotes
My options quickly have decreased.
Although Meletus is perplexed,
He will prepare the sentence next.

[53 of 83]
But now it’s clear to everyone,
Had not Meletus’ helpers come,
Meletus would have been undone
By hefty fines, a massive sum.
If he had not obtained the votes,
A thousand drachmas—yet he gloats!

[54 of 83]
I have neglected money’s charms
And all the things that men pursue,
Like leading, speaking, mansions, farms;
With all these things, wealth does accrue.
But I taught people to take care
Of justice, self, and city square.

[55 of 83]
O men of Athens, what should I
Award myself as just deserts?
A good reward would satisfy,
Though my proposal disconcerts.
I should receive my rightful plumes
Within the Prytaneum’s rooms.

[56 of 83]
I should receive a daily sum
To speak within the public square;
The people’s questions I would plumb;
To me, this small reward seems fair.
Your benefactor I would be
To help improve society.

Go to the Beginning
Go to Part 9: Stanzas 57 to 62

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