I saw this headline: "Roberts' Kids Steal Show As Hearings Open" and then perhaps unfairly thought of the following passage:
Well, Athenians, this and the like of this is nearly all the defence which I have to offer. Yet a word more. Perhaps there may be someone who is offended at me, when he calls to mind how he himself, on a similar or even a less serious occasion, had recourse to prayers and supplications with many tears, and how he produced his children in court, which was a moving spectacle, together with a posse of his relations and friends; whereas I, who am probably in danger of my life, will do none of these things. Perhaps this may come into his mind, and he may be set against me, and vote in anger because he is displeased at this. Now if there be such a person among you, which I am far from affirming, I may fairly reply to him: My friend, I am a man, and like other men, a creature of flesh and blood, and not of wood or stone, as Homer says; and I have a family, yes, and sons. O Athenians, three in number, one of whom is growing up, and the two others are still young; and yet I will not bring any of them hither in order to petition you for an acquittal. And why not? Not from any self-will or disregard of you. Whether I am or am not afraid of death is another question, of which I will not now speak (a)ll' ei) me\n qarrale/wj e)gw\ e)/xw pro\j qa/naton h)\ mh/, a)/lloj lo/goj). But my reason simply is that I feel such conduct to be discreditable to myself, and you, and the whole state. One who has reached my years, and who has a name for wisdom, whether deserved or not, ought not to debase himself. At any rate, the world has decided that Socrates is in some way superior to other men. And if those among you who are said to be superior in wisdom and courage, and any other virtue, demean themselves in this way, how shameful is their conduct! (Jowett)Yet then I was struck by the italicized line, which I had not noticed before. The quoted passage comes, of course, from Plato's Apology (34b-35a), at the place where Socrates gives his summation, just before he is found guilty. A short while later in the dialogue, after Socrates has been given the death sentence, he then (apparently) speaks directly to this issue, explaining why death is not something to be feared.
But the italicized sentence seems strange to me. (Grube incidentally renders the line: "whether I'm boldly facing death or not is a separate story"'--which seems even less understandable. Fowler has: "Whether I fear death or not is another matter.') Why does Socrates say this? Is it that he would make a bad impression on the jury, or encourage them in finding him guilty, if he appeared not to fear death? Also, hasn't it already become clear in his speech that he isn't afraid of death?
I'm probably not seeing something simple and obvious.