If I ever met Socrates... | Quarantine Story
A piece on a young girl's awe for Socrates.
With all the knowledge I have now and additional fluency in Greek, if I could ever go back and meet Socrates, In awe, I would listen to the man for hours. A discussion with Socrates is the best kind of self-help for a torpedo-fish like me. There are certain restrictions, of course, the biggest one of being a woman in Ancient Greece. It would not be very easy for me as a woman to engage in a discussion publicly with him. I wonder as he does to other dialectic-fellows if he would refer to me by my parents’ names? Would he call me a comrade or a dear friend? Would he comment on my appearances?
Pic: Death of Socrates- oil on canvas painting, depicting the death of Socrates as described in Plato's Phaedo (Artist: Jacques-Louis David in 1787).
I do have a few questions for him. With all the jargon that developed much later in history, I would ask him these ten questions.
- Has never his contemplation taken the form of cynical scepticism?
- What is the secret of his values? How did he deal with societal conditioning?
- What is the guiding diamonian that he talks about? Does everyone have a diamonian?
- How important is the dialectic for a society?
- Why did he not write himself?
- Does he also engage in such dialectics with his wife, Xanthippe?
- Why did he ever marry?
- Why did he marry Xanthippe?
- Does he think his life is exemplary?
- Finally, does he believe in a supernatural being?
I am sure he would be amused at many of my questions, and a lengthy discussion would ensue. Now that I have read his dialogues a little, I would understand his humour and irony better. Every discussion would hint at the importance of good and wisdom. We would sit a place forever, until the late evening when my parents would order me to return home. He would end the discussion as he would say that it was a good discussion and he is looking forward to talking to people who are more mature than me.