Welcome to the LitCharts study guide on Plato's Apology. Created by the original team behind SparkNotes, LitCharts are the world's best literature guides.
Apology: Plot Summary
Apology: Detailed Summary & Analysis
Apology: Theme Wheel
Brief Biography of Plato
Historical Context of Apology
Other Books Related to Apology
- Full Title: Apology
- Where Written: Ancient Greece
- When Published: Sometime in the decade proceeding Socrates’s trial in 399 BC.
- Literary Period: Ancient Greek Philosophy
- Genre: Philosophy, Philosophical Dialogue, Fiction
- Setting: Athens, Greece in 399 BC
- Climax: Having made his defense, Socrates is sentenced to death.
- Antagonist: Meletus
- Point of View: Although Socrates speaks in the first-person for the vast majority of Apology, the document is technically presented as a dialogic transcript.
Extra Credit for Apology
Socrates & Democracy. Experts debate whether or not Socrates believed in democracy, since he disparages the system in Plato’s The Republic but apparently respects it in Apology. Citing the fact that Plato—who was himself deeply critical of democracy—wrote The Republic long after Socrates died, many uphold that the text is not an accurate reflection of the man’s political beliefs, ultimately suggesting that Socrates’ attitude toward democracy in Apology is probably the more authentic portrayal of his views.
Influence on Christianity. In addition to Aristotle, Plato taught people like Plotinus and Proclus, Neoplatonists who developed his ideas and eventually laid the groundwork for early Christian thinkers like Saint Augustine.