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Conversations of Socrates Chapter Summary & Analysis - Chapter 1, Socrates' Defense Summary

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Chapter 1, Socrates' Defense Summary and Analysis

The editor presents Socrates' Defense first because he thinks it is Xenophon's earliest Socratic dialogue and permits the author to make comparisons between Xenophon's account of Socrates' trial and Plato's. The author also points out that his Socratic writings were done with the express purpose of defending Socrates. Plato's equivalent work, the Apology, is superior in many respects. Plato is more eloquent and funnier; he is also a much better philosopher. But Xenophon's piece covers more historical ground, including Socrates' thoughts prior to the trial, some of Socrates' speeches at the trial and Socrates' behavior afterward. The piece is ultimately a pamphlet.

It should also be said at the outset that it is not clear whether Socrates said both of what Xenophon and Plato claim that he said. However, Xenophon's report of Socrates' speech seems heavily colored by his own themes...

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This section contains 588 words
(approx. 2 pages at 300 words per page)
Purchase our Conversations of Socrates Study Guide
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Conversations of Socrates from BookRags and Gale's For Students Series. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.
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