Achilles: Socrates’ role model?
After disproving Meletus, Socrates begins the next part of his defence in the court by explaining his activities. He explains to a hypothetical opponent what he considers to be really shameful (αἰσχρόν). To illustrate his speech, he uses the analogy of demi-gods who fell in the Trojan War. He focuses on the son of the goddess Thetis, i.e. Achilles, the most famous fighter in Homer’s Iliad. According to Socrates’ interpretation Achilles preferred to avenge the death of his friend Patroclus rather than undergo something shameful (αἰσχρόν) although he knew that he would die. Did Plato’s Socrates aim to arouse anger or outrage of his judges by being like Thetis’ son willing to die for a rightful cause? What was the real purpose of his comparison with Achilles? The aim of this paper is to examine the reason why Socrates drew a parallel between his own and Achilles’ pursuance.
Katedra filozofie FF UMB, Banská Bystrica, Slovak Republic
Publication order reference