History Paper on Socrates Thoughts on Death
Socrates was calmer than expected after his death sentence was announced by the court. As he was waiting to be executed, he appeared composed which is something that people admired in him. However, according to his teacher, there is a certain way in which a philosopher like Socrates is expected to view life and death. This might have contributed to his calmness as he awaited execution. As a philosopher, he was expected not to fear death but view it as an opportunity for finishing the work which they had started. This work is finished in the Phaedo where all the events are described properly.
While in prison, Socrates might have been thinking about the after-life because that is where he was heading after his execution. It means that regardless of the fact that he does not in any way desire to die, he had to welcome the after-life thoughts. As a philosopher, he needed to think of it as their property since they will be response for his soul after the execution. His body might remain in the prison, but his soul will belong to the afterlife something which despite the fact that seems undesirable, was to be viewed more as an accomplishment for a philosopher like him. To those who came to see Socrates, all they could do is pity him because they were not thinking about any other thing apart from being dead.
At this particular point in his life, Socrates had to detach himself from everything he loved. The relation that he had between the immanent and transcendent he had to put an end to it. This is because all these things could be more of a distraction to him thus he needed not to have any forms of desire or pleasure at that particular moment when he was waiting to transcend to the other part of the world. He could not even think about his body or give any form of an account to it. This is because whenever someone tries to examine something using their body especially the mind, they end up deceiving the soul which was not a good thing at this particular time.
At that moment, all that Socrates needed was a high degree of preparedness and reflect deeper on the life that was awaiting his soul after the body is executed. In this regard, he could not allow the body to be distracted by anything including the demand or need for food. At the same time, he was not supposed to think about romances, illusions or fears because they would be babbling. Love to him was more of a transformative thing that would distract him from achieving his main goal of transcending into the afterlife with a pure heart. The body has desires thus detachment with it was really necessary. This is reason he appeared to be calmer than people anticipated or thought. He was simply trying to familiarize his soul with the unknown where it will be living alone and as a philosopher, he had to ensure that he had achieved complete goal of detachment to make certain that his life had fully come to an end.
It will, therefore, appear more ridiculous for a philosopher who had through his life simulated death to fear it when it finally approached them. It would also not be reasonable to die an unhappy individual because that would not only leave him in chains but also those he leaves behind who will remember him with sadness, something that he did not want. As a philosopher, he had to live a practical life as much as possible with clarity and properly perceived reality about life and death.