It is 300BC, you are a Platonist. Your friend, also a student, has been condemned to death by the Athenian court. Write him a letter preparing him for his last hours.

Essay by dandarandanCollege, UndergraduateA-, June 2004

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My beloved Adeimantus,

I cannot but lament that I should lose you so soon and so unjustly. How often have I loved to gaze upon your bearded face and welcomed the opportunity to be privy to that beauty, to which all men aspire? How often have we enjoyed each others company and instructive conversation? All the more sorrowful, then, is the task to which I now apply myself.

Nicostratus has truly wronged every Athenian, not least his own person, in robbing us of such a youth as yourself over such a trivial matter. To have been brought to trial merely for overlooking certain occasional libations is something you should not forgive. It is a harsh injustice to consider this impious, and to consider it a crime punishable by death is nonsense and hyperbole. We both, you and I, are known for following our teachers footsteps regarding the folly of democracy but you, Adeimantus are perhaps an easier target than myself; I having a somewhat more powerful position than you and at least as much talent for rhetoric as Nicostratus.

I fear that Nicostratus' dislike of myself, and the views that we may share in the matter of politics, are his prime motivations for indicting you.

Yes, unfortunately Nicostratus has used his treasured democratic system to commit a great injustice, and has so expertly misled the Ecclesia as to the seriousness of your neglect, that your own eloquent defence was rendered ineffective, and the so called judges were inclined to agree all too quickly, that death, and not exile should be the appropriate form of correction.

It should have been I, and not you, facing death at this time and for this I am most sorry. Not only because of my advanced years, but also because it is my power, my...