y the oracle at Delphi that no one was wiser than Socrates. The fact that the oracle said it does not mean that Socrates himself believes it, but the idea has been ascribed to him just the same. Another source of prejudice, he says, is the fact that over the years many of the young men of the wealthier class have come to him because they enjoy listening to the manner in which he exposes the ignorance of those around him. Those he exposes in this fashion have become angry and have called Socrates a destroyer of youth.
In a different sense, though, Socrates also says that he is a gadfly, that he not only delves into himself and other men but seeks to get other people to think. He says that all he does is try to persuade young and old alike that they should address the most important thing, the improvement of the soul. This is his sole teaching, and he does not believe it can be a corrupter of youth. He says many of those he supposedly corrupted have not reached their maturity and know quite well that they have not been corrupted. These people are among his supporters, not his accusers. He has acted as gadfly to get these people to search their souls and to seek to improve those souls, and they have done so and now support him.
Socrates does not plead for his life and does not accept the exile that could be his punishment for to do so would be to admit that he had done something wrong. The fact that Socrates is offered exile as a punishment shows that he judges do not want to sentence him to death, but Socrates does not want to give them this out. socrates has lived his entire life in the service of justice, and he cannot end his life with an injustice of his own making. That is what he would do if he were to take the deal he is offered and accept exile. He would be admitting wrongdoing where there is none, and he would be taking the onus for his punishment off the shoulders of his judges and taking it onto his own. Socrates wants his sons and follow