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Trial & The Death of Socrates Audio CD – Audiobook, Classical

49 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 073-0099023924

 
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Editorial Reviews

Language Notes

Text: English, Greek (translation) --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From AudioFile

Most of us remember THE APOLOGY as one of those dry Philosophy 101 texts we struggled to finish, but Tom Griffith's new translation in this Naxos production is far from dry. Socrates's defense of his life and, ironically, of his death, possesses a stunning immediacy: It is colloquial yet faithful, contemporary yet ancient, poignant yet timeless. The performance of Bruce Alexander, Jamie Glover, and company brings all the graceful resignation and patient humor of the 72-year-old man to new life, as only seasoned actors can. They give us the feel of what it must have been like in the jail that strange day 2,500 years ago when Athens put their most thoughtful citizen to death because he troubled their sleep. Naxos even provides an original soundtrack, haunting and meditative, to bridge the awkward transitions in the action. Everything is done, in short, to take Socrates from that dry 101 text to our own neighborhood. P.E.F. © AudioFile 2002, Portland, Maine-- Copyright © AudioFile, Portland, Maine --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Product Details

  • Audio CD
  • Publisher: Naxos (November 20, 2001)
  • ASIN: B00005S6XC
  • Product Dimensions: 5.6 x 5 x 0.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.9 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (49 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #9,253,486 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

54 of 57 people found the following review helpful By J.W.K on May 9, 2002
Format: Paperback
For those of you who must have it all, buy PLATO COMPLETE WORKS, edited by John M. Cooper. Personally, I would save your [money] and just buy this. I have read and reviewed many other Platonic texts, but I really don't think you need anything else. This is the irreducible core of Platonic Goodness.
THE TRIAL AND DEATH OF SOCRATES is a compilation four dialogues: the "Euthyphro," the "Apology," "Crito," and the "Phaedo". As the title clearly states, these four dialogues convey the story - and philosophical debate - that surrounded Socates' trial and death. In these dialogues we find Socrates defending the righteousness of his actions and views, and tearing away at his prosecutors with the skill of expert lawyer. His only weapon being the truth.
In spite of, or perhaps because these four dialogues were written while Plato was still a middle-aged man (as opposed to the "Republic" and the "Laws," which are thought to be his more formulated philosophical expressions), they absolutely sizzle. The text bleeds with life, and so-called Socratic method of endless penetrating questions is here exemplified in the most dire of occasions - Socrates defense against the State of Athens.
It is in these dialogues that Plato expresses the core of philosopohy: a committment to truth, beauty and justice, and the the supreme tenent: "The unexamined life is not worth living." That said, if you still yearn for more Plato after reading these dialogues, grab a copy of Allan Bloom's translation of THE REPUBLIC. It is currently the best English translation available, and you will still be saving [money] over an edition of Plato's complete works.
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19 of 20 people found the following review helpful By George R Dekle on April 5, 2005
Format: Audio CD
Unlike the print translations of the same title, the Naxos Audiobook contains only the "Apology" and the "Phaedo." The works are presented in a not-quite full cast format, and they are as immediate as a trial from Court TV. Production values are excellent, and the actors deliver their lines in conversational fashion, without a hint of the wooden presentation that is almost impossible to avoid when speaking the written word.

I have read and re-read the "Apology" several times, but never have I been so engaged by the dialogue as when I heard it in this edition. Socrates comes across as somewhat eccentric, somewhat arrogant, but completely honorable. His sense of dignity renders him incapable of mounting an effective defense against the criminal charges, and indeed he really doesn't attempt to defend against the charges. Instead, he seeks to justify himself and his career to his students and to posterity. He thoroughly achieves this aim. Unfortunately, in the process of justifying himself to posterity, he thoroughly enraged the jury, and they voted for the death penalty by a landslide. It was almost as though that was what Socrates wanted them to do.

"Phaedo" records Socrates' last day, as he fearlessly faces death. In his last hours he and his friends discuss Socrates' ideas on the immortality of the human soul. Socrates wandered far afield as he spoke on the soul, and the philosophic exposition is both flawed and uninteresting. About halfway through the dialogue, I became impatient for Socrates to go ahead and drink the hemlock and put me out of my misery. I stuck to the end, however, and having done so, I realized that the beauty of "Phaedo" lay not in the philosophy, but in the courageous and dignified bearing of Socrates as he confronted death.
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12 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Courtney Saenz on December 3, 2001
Format: Paperback
The Trial and Death of Socrates, by Plato, is a timeless piece dealing with themes that are applicable to the generations of then, now and those to come. Written in the classic, observant, style of Plato, the book is a compilation of four dialogues that the main character, Socrates, engages in at various times with different people. Each dialogue is didactic in style and although they don't always end conclusively, they do provoke one to reflect upon that which is discussed. Throughout the book Socrates deals with such subjects as pious versus the impious, wise versus the unwise, and just versus the unjust. The book is set in Athens, in the year 399 B.C.E., and is written so that each section revolves around Socrates' trial as described in the section entitled "The Apology". The book focuses much attention on the trial in which Socrates is being tried for corrupting the youth and not believing in the gods recognized by the state. Aside from the philosophical side of Socrates, the reader is also introduced to his family and friends, thus observing the person who Socrates really was. Many readers are introduced to various sections of this book at some point in their education, yet those who never read the entire book miss altogether the importance of the relationships that Socrates has with others. It is through study of these relationships that the reader begins to view Socrates as a real human and develop a sympathetic connection with him. While the conversations are occasionally difficult to follow, the thoughts and philosophies of Socrates are profound and worth the invested time to understand. Each debate that Socrates partakes in introduces to the reader a new piece of knowledge or moral question to ponder. It is through the answers to these questions that the reader reaps the true benefit of tackling The Death and Trial of Socrates. Wisdom gained is worth more than the time invested.
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