The Death of Socrates: You Are There!


Course description

The famous death of Socrates was re-created for a television 'mockumentary' broadcast by CBS in its series You are There! on May 3, 1953. This award-winning episode featured new and respected Hollywood film-makers, including news anchor Walter Cronkite and director Sidney Lumet, actors E. G. Marshall, Robert Culp, and John Cassavettes (as Plato in his first known role), and a screenplay produced in secret by the blacklisted Communist screenwriter Arnold Manoff. In this 2-hour illustrated lecture, we compare this American television account of the death of Socrates with the ancient documents on which historians still rely. We will explore some of the ways in which ancient and modern ideology shaped the telling of this electrifying and still somewhat mysterious historical event.

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