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Honor In Plato, Sophocles, And Voltaire

2944 words - 12 pages

Plato writes of a philosophical man condemned to death in the court of law in The Trial and Death of Socrates. Socrates is punished for preaching of his gods and corrupting the youth of Athens. The next piece of work discussed is Antigone, written by Sophocles. Antigone is a young lady who feels it is her duty and obligation to defy Creon’s rule to properly bury her brother. Lastly, the text of Voltaire’s Candide displays how a man cannot find happiness even in the best of situations. Candide travels the world in the attempt to become a man of wealth and power and reunite with the love of his life.
First, a dig into the details of personal integrity will exemplify that Plato’s work best displays the concept of one’s own morals, honor, and respectability. By next exposing an exemplar role of a responsible citizen, one will observe that Sophocles’ writing creates a compelling case for the importance of maintaining a sensible role in society. And finally, reflecting on social dynamics will show that Voltaire’s claims demonstrate the importance of understanding the social influences of today’s world. Revealing Plato, Sophocles, and Voltaire’s pieces of writing will display the affairs of an individual’s integrity, one’s role in society, and of the social forces of the world today.
Probing into the integrity of an individual, one must ask the question: what is personal integrity? “A person of high integrity is honest, trustworthy, and reliable. One must do what is right and must not be easily influenced by another individual’s opinions or actions. Finally, a person of integrity does not take the easy way if it is the low moral way” (Integrity). When an individual fails to live up to their full potential of high integrity, there are many consequences including punishment, perception of a bad reputation, and possible conflict with the law. However, performing with great personal integrity gains the trust of others and allows one to become a role model for others to follow.
One can best see the illustration of personal integrity in Plato’s Apology when looking at Socrates’ fulfillment of life and his trial in court. Socrates is charged with three offenses under the court of law with the first offense being stated as: “All the Athenians, it seems, make the young into fine good men, except me, and I alone corrupt them” (Plato 28). The jury of 501 Athenian male residents did not have reasonable evidence to initially prosecute Socrates, but then went further to condemn him to death. Where is the high integrity of the jury? Clearly, this panel of judges did not have the morals and honest characters to see the innocence of an elderly man of wisdom. These men of judgment centered their decisions off Meletus’s accusations to pronounce Socrates as guilty without taking into consideration his argument of defense. Of all people, a jury should be making honest decisions. Plato shows that personal integrity is of great...

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