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A philosopher living in Athens, Greece in the fourth century BC and the primary speaker in Apology. A clever thinker and shrewd conversationalist, Socrates is known for encouraging people to carefully scrutinize their beliefs… read analysis of Socrates


Socrates’s most outspoken accuser. There is very little historical record concerning Meletus, other than what Socrates himself says in Plato’s writings. Given that Socrates says Meletus is “vexed” at him “on behalf of… read analysis of Meletus


One of Socrates’s accusers, along with Meletus and Lycon. Socrates says that Anytus is “vexed” with him “on behalf of the craftsmen and the politicians.” According to the historical record, Anytus was an… read analysis of Anytus

The Delphic Oracle

A priestess known as the “Pythian,” whom the god Apollo uses to communicate directly to humans at a shrine in Delphi (an area the Greeks believed to be the center of the world). During his… read analysis of The Delphic Oracle


One of Socrates’s friends and “demesmen” (or member of the same township), and the father of Critobulus. During his apologia, Socrates refutes the claim that he has corrupted the Athenian youth. In… read analysis of Crito
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A philosopher, and one of Socrates’s disciples. It is because of Plato that Socrates’s apologia has survived at all, since he is the one who wrote it out and preserved it. One of history’s… read analysis of Plato
Minor Characters
One of Socrates’s accusers, along with Meletus and Anytus. Socrates says that Lycon is “vexed” with him “on behalf of the orators.” Other than this statement, Socrates does not mention Lycon again during his apologia.
One of Socrates’s friends “from youth.” Socrates explains in his apologia that Chaerephon is an “impulsive” man who visited the oracle at Delphi and asked if there is anyone wiser than Socrates. When the Pythian responded by telling him there isn’t, he then relayed this information to Socrates himself.
Crito’s son, and one of the Athenians—along with Apollodorus, Plato, and many others—who believe in Socrates’s innocence. When Socrates is found guilty, Critobulus offers to lend him money so that he can set the penalty at “thirty minas.”
One of Socrates’s friends and “demesmen” (or member of the same township). Like Crito, Critobulus, and Plato, Apollodorus offers to lend Socrates money so that he can pay a fine of “thirty minas” as a penalty.
A playwright in Ancient Greece who wrote The Clouds, a play that includes a caricature of Socrates as a dishonest teacher. During his apologia, Socrates uses The Clouds to illustrate the fact that his fellow Athenians have been unfairly predisposed to distrust him.
Leon from Salamis
An Athenian general during the Peloponnesian War.