What does Socrates mean by this statement?"When my sons grow up, visit them with punishment, my friends, and vex them in the same way that I have vexed you if them seem to you to care for riches...

What does Socrates mean by this statement?

"When my sons grow up, visit them with punishment, my friends, and vex them in the same way that I have vexed you if them seem to you to care for riches or for anything other than virtue"

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pohnpei397 | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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What Socrates is saying in this line is that people should care about virtue more than anything else.  He is expressing this by telling the audience that he would want them to really come down on his sons if they seemed to think that it was more important to be rich than to be good.

Socrates's whole purpose was to try to teach people what virtue and wisdom were.  He went around teaching in ways that upset people because he seemed to be questioning their values.  When Socrates speaks the line you are asking about, he is about to be executed for doing this.  He is saying one last time that he really thinks that virtue is the most important thing and that he hopes people will do for his kids the same thing (pushing them to be virtuous) that he was trying to do for the people of Athens.

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