U.S. Play of Socrates’ Life Shows Lessons for Democracy

FILE - The marble statue of ancient Greek philosopher Socrates, stands in front of the Athens Academy as a Greek flag flies on Friday, April 24, 2015. (AP Photo/Petros Giannakouris)

Thousands of years after he lived, and famously died – ancient Greek philosopher Socrates’ life is being revisited in a play by writer and director Tim Blake Nelson in the United States, showing what it has to do with today’s democracy, a concept founded in Greece.

The play shows Socrates walking around Athens in the Fifth Century B.C. Like a “self-described gadfly,” stopping people to talk and question and examine their lives in search of “truth or some sense of what is good and what is bad.”

“Socrates gave us a method for the pursuit of knowledge, truth, wisdom, good and evil that is still used to this day. We call it the Socratic method,” Nelson told Boston’s WBUR Radio on NPR.

Nelson said researching Socrates changed how he thinks and how the philosopher’s ideas could better democracy.