Apologia is described as a genre where
Apologia is described as a genre where
the orator defends him/herself, his actions or decisions against an accusation.
In other words, an apologia can be defined as a speech that justifies, defends
or apologizes for an action or a statement by the person delivering the speech.
An apologia is also known as a self-defense speech (Towner). In Plato’s the
apology, Socrates does not apologize but rather defends his stand to the jury.
necessary to an apologia.
An orator makes a speech to not only put
a point across but also appeal to the audience convincing them to believe or
consider what he/she is saying important (Cahn and Steven). According to
Aristoteles, there are three critical persuasive appeals to persuade the
audience effectively. They include pathos, logos, and ethos. The three should
be in line with the persona of the one giving the speech to persuade the
audience. Aristotle (1954: translations by Robert) argues that the mode of
persuasion by any speaker depends on his or her persona, then putting the
listeners into a frame of mind he prefers and finally, proof of the words the
speaker has said (Wang).
defends himself against.
In the Apology, Socrates is accused of
not believing in the gods as universally accepted by his state. The charge is
based on the fact that he rejects the prophecy made at Delphi by the Oracle
claiming him to be the wisest of all men. With this, he is also accused of
corrupting the minds of the young people in the state as he exposed the false
wisdom and ignorance of the supposed wise men in the state. The actions of
exposing the false wisdom earned him respect, adoration from the young Athens
(Plato trans. G.M.A. Grube. Pp. 112.130).
How Socrates defends
Socrates starts his defense by
explaining that he is no expert in law and that he would speak in the manner he
is accustomed to, which is direct and honest. He then proceeds to explain that
his behavior originates from a claim made by the Oracle of Delphi, placing him
on top as the wisest man. He validates his claim by stating that he was in deed
the wisest since a wise person does not know everything and neither does he/she
pretend to know. Socrates then goes on to interrogate Meletus, the man
responsible for bringing him before the jury. The questions directed to Meletus
at this point seem to have the intention of embarrassing Meletus rather than
proving the truth of the matter. Socrates goes ahead and claims that without
his influence, the state is deemed to drifting into a deep sleep with no
virtuous actions or productivity (Plato trans. G.M.A. Grube. Pp. 112.130).
How Socrates's defense
compare to a modern celebrity's defense.
Socrates case was based on the fact that
he influenced youths to believe in his crusade of no one being wise and
embarrassing most of the people in high seats of the state. The same thing can
be said about Colin Kaepernick, an athlete who refused to stand during the
singing of national anthem (Sandritter). In his defense, he was standing for
the people of color. The athlete faced a lot of backlash from both the media
and the public. He defended himself by saying that what he was doing was more
important than even himself. Colin ganged a lot of support from fellow athletes
just like Socrates got from the youths.
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