Why did Socrates die?

Essay by gavinbrown101 November 2006

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Socrates demonstrated that "the unexamined life is not worth living." (39) His questioning ultimately became his downfall, as many of his followers mimicked him in questioning the city's wisest individuals; "the result is that those whom they question are angry, not with themselves but with me." (26) The people of Athens were angry with Socrates alone because they assumed that once Socrates was stopped, many of his followers will follow his example in silence. The Athenians were angry because Socrates busied himself by searching for wisdom and by making "the worse into the stronger argument." (23)

In an attempt to find a wiser man than himself and prove the god at Delphi wrong, Socrates was in search for someone who understood human wisdom meant nothing. Instead, Socrates encountered many people who he deemed unwise because their talent at a particular trade made them very headstrong and ignorant, and therefore unwise.

In searching for wise men, Socrates only found enemies. Because the Athenians failed his test, they were indignant toward his view on wisdom. In the end Socrates, was sentenced to death by a biased jury, for his careless followers and for insulting many influential Athenians.