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At the elderly age of seventy Socrates found himself fighting against an indictment of impiety He was unsuccessful at trial in the year 399 BC The charges were corrupting the youth of Athens not believing in the traditional gods in whom the city believed and finally that he believed in other new divinities In Platos Apology Socrates defends himself against these charges He claims that the jurors opinions are biased because they had probably all seen Aristophanes comedy The Clouds The Socrates portrayed in Aristophanes Clouds is an altogether different character than that of the Apology The two different impressions of Socrates lead to quite opposite opinions with regard to his guilt In The Clouds Socrates actions provide evidence of his guilt on all three charges However in the Apology Socrates is fairly convincing in defending his innocence on the first two charges but falls short on the third charge Socrates in The Clouds is portrayed as an idiot who thinks hes walking on air and is interested primarily in gnats rumps He is delineated as a natural philosophersophist He is hired to teach Pheidippides to make the worse argument the argument that is really incorrect and unjust the betterto his fathers creditors so that Strepsiades Pheidippides father will not have to pay his debts While this in itself is corrupt it was that he changed Pheidippides from the time he entered Socrates Thinkery into a corrupt scoundrel completely devoid of morality that was even more deplorable At the beginning Pheidippides is a respectful son who loves his father but after graduating from the Thinkery he is beating his father with a stick lines 1321-1333 Socrates was so successful in corrupting Pheidippides that he even attempts to justify his behavior using rhetorical techniques learned from Socrates In response to his father questioning his actions he claims Yes by God whats more Ill prove its right to do sowith unbeatable arguments He has obviously been extremely
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