As we have learned that in the year 399BC the Athenian philosopher Socrates was brought to trial and sentenced to death. It is due to the three counts that Socrates was charged; that being impiety, that is not recognizing the Gods recognized by Athens, introducing new Gods or divinities and lastly for corrupting the youth of Athens. And it is these charges that were brought against him by Meletus and Anytus. At the time Socrates was 70 years old and had become a widely recognized citizen of Athens, therefore allowing the trial to leave its stain on history forever. It is Socrates "defense" at the trial that gave rise to a great piece of philosophical literature being that of Plato's apology. We understand that the apology is an account of Socrates defense written by Plato who was present at the trial. However, Socrates" apology was not merely a speech or defense; it is a literary testimony of his life and ultimately, his philosophy. Through investigating Socrates" defense and noting how successful his defense was, can we justify whether to find Socrates guilty or not guilty of the counts he was faced with? Ultimately we will consider the possibilities of Socrates innocence through the justifications of his apology. .
As the apology has many levels and aspects to it, each aspect can be observed separately. Therefore by considering the success of the apology, we have to first analyse the apology according to the criterion of each aspect. However in order to understand the philosophical aspect of the apology, you need to understand the way in which Socrates led his life at the time. Socrates was prominent in Athens as a philosopher, but contrary to other philosophers of the time, he never wrote any literature on his work. Socrates engaged in dialogue with men whom were thought to be wise in Athens. By questioning their virtues and their respective wisdom Socrates was able to show many citizens of Athens, what wisdom was really about, what virtues are important and essentially what leading a good life was like.