Date of Degree
Gerald A. Press
Ancient Philosophy | Classical Literature and Philology
emotion, Plato, Socrates, trial of Socrates, death of Socrates
My dissertation argues that Plato composed the figure of Socrates as a three-dimensional literary character who experiences and confronts emotions in ways that other studies have overlooked. By adopting a dramatic, non-dogmatic mode of reading the dialogues and emphasizing the literary elements of the texts and their dramatic connections, this dissertation offers a new and compelling portrait of Socrates in the dialogues that relate his finals weeks of life: Theaetetus, Euthyphro, Apology, Crito, and Phaedo. This study in turn provides new insights into the genre of Plato’s texts and demonstrates how he exploited the dramatic nature of the prose dialogue to capture social-historical realities surrounding the trial and execution of Socrates. By emphasizing emotional and interpersonal aspects of Plato’s texts, my dissertation shows that Plato’s dialogues are profitably read through a literary lens to recover their complex reconstruction of Socrates’ place and time in history.
Moody, Thomas W., "Emotion in Plato's Trial of Socrates" (2022). CUNY Academic Works.