Section 1: 17a—18a

Socrates, on trial, addresses the jury by explaining the rhetorical style that he will use to present his case. He forewarns the jury that his speech style will differ distinctly from that of his accusers and preemptively asks them to forgive him if they find his style unusual.

Read a full Summary & Analysis of Section 1: 17a—18a.

Section 2: 18a—20c

An older and younger sect of accusers have brought Socrates to trial for the crimes of not believing in the gods and for teaching that a weaker argument can defeat a stronger argument. Socrates addresses his accusers, especially the sophists and sophism, and lays out his defense against the accusations made against him.

Read a full Summary & Analysis of Section 2: 18a—20c.

Section 3: 20c—24e

Socrates claims that his reputation for wisdom was derived from a prophecy made by the oracle at Delphi that he learned from his friend Chaerephon. Socrates concludes after asking several supposedly wise men that his wisdom comes not from knowing with certainty but from acknowledging that the only thing he knows is that he knows nothing.

Read a full Summary & Analysis of Section 3: 20c—24e.

Section 4: 24b—28a

Socrates has a back and forth with Meletus, one of his young accusers, regarding the accusation that Socrates’s teaching has corrupted the minds of the youth of Athens. After the cross-examination Socrates proves that contrary to the claim that he does not believe in gods, he in fact does.

Read a full Summary & Analysis of Section 4: 24b—28a.

Section 5: 28a—32e

Socrates’s defense turns to his commitment to the philosophical life that he has been called on to live by the gods and his fidelity to it, citing specifically the supernatural sign that guides his moral life and his reluctance to involve himself with political and public matters.

Read a full Summary & Analysis of Section 5: 28a—32e.

Section 6: 32e—35d

Socrates stands by the fact that he has not charged a fee to any of his students for his teachings and that his popularity is not due to any actual crime, or corruption of the youth, even citing Plato as one of his students that has not fallen from grace due to following his teachings. Socrates goes on to argue against using pathos as a reason for why the jury should acquit him of his so-called crimes even though he himself has three sons.

Read a full Summary & Analysis of Section 6: 32e—35d.

Section 7: 35e—38b

The jury votes Socrates guilty and Socrates proceeds to discuss the possible penalties he should be forced to pay, without any recourse to begging for mercy, even though he has been sentenced to death.

Read a full Summary & Analysis of Section 7: 35e—38b.

Section 8: 38c—42a

Socrates addresses both those who have deemed him guilty and those who have deemed him innocent, however, in the end, Socrates accepts his judgement and makes it apparent that he feels no ill will for the judgement that has been passed toward him. Socrates accepts death without fear and without any animosity towards those who have condemned him.

Read a full Summary & Analysis of Section 8: 38c—42a.