Xenophon Writing Styles in Conversations of Socrates

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The Conversations of Socrates has three distinct perspectives and a fourth, composite perspective, each of which contains important subtleties. The first perspective of importance is Robin Waterfield's, the editor. Waterfield spends the introductions explaining the text of the dialogue to the reader and addressing various historical and interpretative puzzles. He also analyzes the philosophical issues at stake in each work. Waterfield's perspective is that of a historian who isn't afraid to share his opinion or to express approval or disapproval of some idea or individual. In general, Waterfield agrees with many of the criticisms of Xenophon made by critics of the centuries, but he is also on the whole more positive about Xenophon's contributions that many have been.

Xenophon's perspective is heavily biased in favor of his friend and teacher Socrates. Socrates was killed because he was convicted of three charges made against him by the Athenians. Xenophon...

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