What does Socrates mean by referring himself to a gadfly? ?

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In “The Apology”, Socrates refers to himself as a gadfly, clinging to the city as an insect would to a horse. What is the significance of this?

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Eleatic Stranger

Where in the text is this line?


he isnt wanted, much like the fly.


He meant he was stinging people out of their complacency. Just as a gadfly, by constantly stinging a horse agitates it, preventing it from becoming sluggish and going to sleep, so did Socrates, by stirring things up, prevent the City from becoming sluggish and careless and intolerant.


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