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Michael Stuhlbarg on the audience as Socrates’ Jurors | The Public Theater

We have endured so very much: perpetual
war, starvation, recrimination, profound uncertainty, tyranny, and plague, and a kind
of rage in this city the likes of which I have never seen. I am Michael Stuhlbarg
I’m playing Socrates in the production at The Public Theater. Throughout the first
act of the play, we see Socrates speaking to the audience. He’s been brought up on
charges, so he’s speaking directly to the audience as the jurors. And so here I
stand, my turn before you at least half of Athens who would seem wishing me
killed. Instead of refuting the charges, he tells them who he is and what he
believes in. It’s an open-hearted explanation. For you to say to me right
now “Socrates we will let you go free, but you must stop philosophizing or face death,” I would answer that
“I will not stop but will keep pursuing, questioning everyone I meet saying ‘you
Athenian why do you seek wealth and power and every comfort but refuse to
ask what your life and the world around youmigh actually mean?'” So they’ll have to make a decision
based on who he is and if the charges are indeed sincere or trumped-up.


  1. Melkorin Author

    Michael's performance was simply wonderful and phenomenal! How I wish the play could be captured so I could revisit the experience again


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