Menexenus

Menexenus

by Plato

The Menexenus of Plato's dialogue appears also in the Lysis, where he is identified as the "son of Demophon",1 as well as the Phaedo.The Menexenus consists mainly of a lengthy funeral oration, referencing the one given by Pericles in Thucydides' account of the Peloponnesian War. Socrates here delivers to Menexenus a speech that he claims to have learned from Aspasia, a consort of Pericles and prominent female Athenian intellectual.Menexenus is unique among the Platonic dialogues in that the actual 'dialogue' serves primarily as exposition for the oration.

  • Language: English
  • Category: Philosophy
  • Rating: 3.27
  • Publish Date: June 17th 2004 by Kessinger Publishing
  • Isbn10: 1419133950
  • Isbn13: 9781419133954

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Bundan baka da deeri ne kadar az olursa olsun, insan birçok bilgin kimseler övüyor; hem geliigüzel de deil; söyleyeceklerini önceden, inceden inceye hazrlam oluyorlar. Öyle güzel övüyorlar ki, Meneksenos, her ölünün, kendinde bulunsun bulunmasn, birçok özellikleri olduunu ileri sürerek, sözlerini en güzel kelimelerle süslüyor, ruhlarmz büyülüyorlar.....

Von einem als spöttisch aufzufassenden Kommentar von Sokrates Menexenos gegenüber (Offenbar, dass du mit deiner Unterweisung und Wissenschaft am Ziele zu sein glaubst, und weil du weit genug bist, du dich nun zu dem Höheren zu wenden gedenkst, und unternimmst, du Glückspilz, über uns Alte zu herrschen schon in solcher Jugend ) kommt das Gespräch schließlich auf die Redekunst zu sprechen, nachdem in der Ratsversammlung ein Redner für eine Gefallenenrede gesucht wurde. Sokrates gibt sogleich ein spöttisches Beispiel für die Kunst der Rhetorik, indem er selbst eine Gefallenenrede hält, die er von der Aspasia (der Gemahlin des Perikles) gehört haben will. Die Gefallenenrede ist nun neben der Kritik an der Rhetorik der zweite inhaltliche Punkt des Dialogs und gibt sehr interessante Details über historische Ereignisse sowie die Einstellung der Athener. Auch auf die Herrschaft der Dreißig und der anschließende Bürgerkrieg in Athen wird eingegangen.

Even the premise of this dialogue is stepped in irony because the reader knows that Socrates is preemptively giving his own funeral oration and suggests that a true master has already preemptively practiced just such a speech. Though parts of this speech is only interesting to someone who's interested in reading a concise account of some of the stuff going on around Athens before and after the Peloponnesian war, through this brief history of Athens he makes masked, ironic jabs at the Athenians who would allow themselves to be convinced that Socrates had a bad influence on the state. This might be a mistake, or it might be a prompt for the reader to question whether she ever gave this speech, and it might be a reminder that these dialogues were written after Socrates death and should be interpreted accordingly. Socrates reports that his teacher would have then asked the Athenians to imagine their dead father's speaking to them (adding another layer to the oration (which, it's probably worth mentioning, is also a parody of Athenian funeral oration)) and gives some of the clearest advice in any of the dialogues on how to live a good life, and of how you should remember the dead (and so, of how to feel about the death of Socrates) whilst subtly chiding the Athenian people. It's possible that Plato just wanted to commemorate Socrates oration, a speech that was recited to the Athenians annually.

Of all the Plato dialogues I have read, this is the one that requires most background knowledge and understanding of tone.

Along with his mentor, Socrates, and his student, Aristotle, Plato helped to lay the foundations of Western philosophy and science.