Introduction Notes from The Apology

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The Apology Introduction

Socrates starts his speech by saying that although he doesn't know what effect his accusers had on the jury, they almost convinced him that everything they said was true, and yet he knew it was all a lie. This was particularly true when they called him a skillful speaker and asked the jury to be careful when he spoke so that he wouldn't deceive them. Plato considered this to be a bold move by his accusers, as they knew that he was about to speak and prove them wrong.

Socrates tells the jury that he will tell them the complete truth in the straightforward language that first comes to his mind, and not in phrases that have been well thought through. This is because he is confident in his innocence. Despite this, he asks them to disregard the way he speaks as he is seventy years old and has never been to court and therefore he is unaccustomed to the court's manner of speech. Thus, he says that he will speak in the same manner that he speaks in the marketplace and around trading stalls. As a result, he asks the jury to grant him the same courtesies as they would grant a foreigner when he speaks in his foreign tongue, and focus on whether his claims are just.

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