Sample Essay on English Final Paper


The character traits given to Socrates by Plato the Philosopher depicts a sense of pure, unchanging, and eternal world portraits. This implies that no influence imparted on Plato was great, contrasted to Socrates’ power. The Socrates is the main character in most of Plato’s work where he perceive him as the justest living being (Peterson 45). According to apology of Socrates, Plato was his young devotee who corrupted the adolescents but was not defended by his people.

Characteristics of Socrates

Based on his personal characteristics, Socrates was mean and could not take any action without asking permission from the gods. As a benefactor of his colleagues, he never injured any man and he was moderate to the point that he never allowed pleasure to overpower him. Plato the philosopher gave Socrates a wise character that made him to avoid falling on the wrong while judging the evil and the good. He was the joviest and the best man to be in existence with an absolute self-control behavior. Plato gave Socrates a characterization that depicted power to tolerate, and his scanty ways fulfilled all his desires. Another character that was imparted to Socrates by Plato is that he exhibited a hearty enjoyment in social pleasures. He had strength of will that perfected his theory to identify knowledge and virtue that assisted him to evade ascetic extravagances (Wilson 68).

Socrates had remarkable intellectual gifts that enabled him to be observant and thoughtful while in action. He indulged himself in sacred duties and embraced virtues that enabled him to handle issues concerning practical morality. Plato gave Socrates a heroic character for greater urbanity and deeper philosophical insight. He was affectionate to individuals who recognized him well while some could not stand him for his stern side of nature. The character of Socrates depicted true patriotism while his generous attitude taught him to overstep limits of Hellenic race and Athenian demus (Peterson 112). In addition, Socrates was a sincere man with fervent piety whereby he was punctual in sacrifice and regular in prayer.

Characteristics of Aristophanes

Conversely, the character of Aristophanes the comedian is evident in religion and philosophy when he is perceived as conservative and old fashioned. He is always on opposition side in responding to radical and modern influences in Athenian society. In the Symposium play by Plato, Aristophanes depicts a friendly character towards Plato. In the play cloud by Plato, there is criticism that the character trait of Aristophanes contributed to an atmosphere that disapproved the Socrates. These acts lead to a complex situation especially when Aristophanes portrayed to be a sophist platform. He taught ideas that were morally worthless concerning philosophy for money. In addition, Aristophanes is a genius comedian who incorporates an elegance of style that reflects truth in relation to its origin. This character had no colleagues and at some point, he was accused of degrading the good things he recognized. His trait further raised arguments among critics who claimed that he was not to be approved as an accurate authority in Athenian history.

Aristophanes was a legitimate patriot and this granted him attention from his conservative political sympathies. His other character is flexibility that is evident in his religious notions and his passion for Athens. As a hilarious poet, he extended his witty character even to his peers and was ranked as a great poet who fancied wealth and beauty in his lines. The comedian also had weird character while acting as a clown and this contributed to his faults. However, his supporters defend his style by arguing that he acted as a buffoon to tell bold truth and to gain popularity. His indecent character contributed positively to his work because it made him perfect his art. They further claim that Aristophanes’ character is attributed to their religion which they worshiped the real nature. Aristophanes’ had witty characters that lead to sanctity to numerous public events that violated decency. Through his old comedy work, he was clever, amusing, and instructive which brought to light issues that affected the society at that time. At some point, Aristophanes was vulgar and corrupt as exhibited in his personal propensities (Wilson 153). He was perceived as an individual who offended decency but when it came to his poems, he was worth to be praised. As an artist, he was careful in his work and his masterly skill brought taste to his old comedy style.

Combined Characterization of Socrates and Aristophanes

Analyzing these two different characterization given to Socrates and Aristophanes by Plato, they can be put together to create a portrait of Socrates that is both complex and multisided. In addressing issues to do with practical morality, Aristophanes went to an extent of acting as a buffoon to enhance sanctity to diverse religions that had embraced indecent behaviors. Similarly, this character describes Socrates when he applied his remarkable intellectual gifts that enabled him to be observant and thoughtful while in action. In addition, this is multisided because through his behavior, Socrates participated in sacred duties and embraced virtues that enabled him to handle issues concerning practical morality.

Aristophanes’ hilarious character when combined to that of Socrates’ self-control and joviest behavior makes him a multisided man in nature. This is evident when Socrates interacts freely with people around him involving those in politics and in religion. It also implies that when he acts like a witty person, he will attract a large group of individuals including close friends and others he come into contact with. This is because the characteristic of a jovial individual goes hand in hand with comedy hence brings a strong character out of Socrates. Both Socrates and Aristophanes exhibit heroic character in them meaning if the two traits are combined, they could portray excellent leadership in Socrates. To accomplish this complex status, Socrates has to put into practice both characteristics.

Socrates further requires to be multisided by being careful, flexible and a legitimate patriot like Aristophanes to gain popularity among conservative politicians. At some point, if these characters are combined they will lead to a difficult situation hence affect Socrates behavior. For instance, Aristophanes is an individual who led in corruption activities among the youth. This corrupt character could portray Socrates as a bad individual if the two characters were to be brought together. Furthermore, Aristophanes was known for speaking in Vulgar especially in his poetry work. This implies that Socrates could also be part of this character of using indecent words. As a result, this could lead to a complex situation whereby the Athens loses their trust in Socrates if he uses vulgar words to address the society.

Last Day of Socrates

Analyzing the Phaedo article, this source indicates how David dramatizes the last day of Socrates. The Phaedo was drafted by philosopher Plato and it accounts for the last conversations and events that occurred when Socrates was sentenced to death by the state of Athens (Wilson 165). The cynical argument depicts forms that are unchanging and eternal and in this context, souls that bring life are perceived to be imperishable. Plato suggested analogy of cold and fire to be intact and represent the soul during death. At the beginning of the scene, Echecrates inquires for information from Phaedo concerning last day of Socrates. The trial of Socrates gives Plato a chance to develop his philosophy concerning individuals and their responsibility for their actions. Plato exhibits how this affects the community in relation to the immortality belief of the soul.

In this drama, David accuses his father of committing a murder to a servant who attacked and killed his workmate. The circumstance of this death leads to argument where Socrates debates on nature of holiness. During his last days, Socrates appears to be arrogant and this attracts a lot of enemies to his side. Plato reveals the trial of Socrates especially when he defends himself energetically against the charges. Socrates was charged with a mistake of causing corruption to the youth. This forces him to crack into tears to prove to the accusers that each individual was responsible for his mistakes. Due to his arrogance, he attracts many enemies who insist on his death sentence that could be accomplished by drinking hemlock.

However, there is delay to sentencing Socrates to death and this leads to his imprisonment in Athens. He finds a friend who assists him to escape but contrary to the expectation, he chooses to stay in prison and face his fate. The reason he failed to escape is that he believed he would be going against his nature, which would cause harm to Athens whom he loved most. In Phaedo, Plato gives Socrates a role that espouses his believes towards the immorality of the soul.

According to this source, a philosopher should face death to enable him reach true wisdom that could evade distraction to the body. Socrates believed that even though suicide is wrong, it was not right for a true philosopher to be afraid of death (Peterson 122). In this context, Plato reveals to us that when individuals die, they do not stay dead but go back to life after some time. Socrates also identifies things that are immortal, immaterial and invisible to which he compares them with the soul that is capable of surviving death. Socrates believed that the soul existed first before the body and this explains why it remained alive even after death. At the end of this narration, Socrates takes a birth and say goodbye to his colleagues. Finally, he sips the poisonous hemlock that makes him to drift imperceptibly from this world to the next.


The different characterization given to Socrates and Aristophanes by Plato when combined depicts a complex and multisided portrait of Socrates. The two characters share common traits such as good leadership skills that are accompanied by their jovial and humorous nature. This implies that when these characterizations are combined, they give Socrates a strong personality. This paper also incorporates highlights in Phaedo that shows David dramatizing the last days of Socrates. According to this text, Socrates believes that the soul existed before the body and this made him fearless to face death.



Works Cited

Peterson, Sandra. Socrates and philosophy in the dialogues of Plato. Cambridge:                Cambridge University Press, 2011. Print.

Wilson, Emily R. The death of Socrates. Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press,                                2007. Print.