welcome covers

Your complimentary articles

You’ve read one of your four complimentary articles for this month.

You can read four articles free per month. To have complete access to the thousands of philosophy articles on this site, please


Socrates’ Home Life

Lydia Masseron finds out exactly what’s on Xanthippe’s mind.

Setting: Xanthippe’s home. Lamprocles (6) and Sophroniscus (4) are running about. Xanthippe has just found out that she’s pregnant again. Akantha, her friend, has just popped in.

Akantha: Greetings Xanthippe! I hear congratulations are in order.

Xanthippe: Thank you Akantha, though I’m not sure it’s a blessing. These days I seem to be doing the work of both parents.

Akantha: How so, Xanthippe?

Xanthippe: You try being married to Socrates! He’s always down the agora talking nonsense with his fellow layabouts. I tell you – that man is nothing if not workshy. I can’t remember the last time he did a day’s work!

Akantha: I have heard he has a fine intellect and is the most eloquent orator in Athens.

Xanthippe: Being a chatterbox does not put food on the table. My father is fed up of providing for us.

A small child approaches, crying.

Xanthippe: Oh Sophroniscus, what is it now?

Sophroniscus: Lamprocles hit me.

Xanthippe: Excuse me Akantha, whilst I deal with my squabbling children.

Akantha: You go ahead, Xanthippe. I’m here to avoid my own quarrelsome brood.

Xanthippe leaves the room. The sound of scolding followed by wailing can be heard. Xanthippe re-enters, looking exasperated.

Xanthippe: [sighs] Socrates encourages them to wrestle, but never deals with the inevitable tears that occur afterwards.

Akantha: Your Socrates was a fine wrestler in his day.

Xanthippe: Yes, but that’s besides the point. Lamprocles is so much bigger than Sophroniscus that it’s unfair to make them fight. Poor little Sophroniscus always comes off worse.

Akantha nods sympathetically. There’s a moment’s silence.

Akantha: Did I mention that Thaddaeus heard Socrates discussing the good life in front of an audience of some thirty young men last week?

Xanthippe: What does he know of the good life? The good life for me would be having a husband who went to work and supported his family instead of having a layabout who is either drunk or about to get drunk. Surely living a good life involves being a loving and thoughtful husband and father?

Akantha: You mean like my Thaddeus? He’s at home with the children as we speak… He may not go down in history as a great thinker, but he’s the living embodiment of a good man. Anyway, I must be going. I just popped by to wish you well.

Xanthippe: Goodbye, Akantha, it’s nice to see you.

Akantha pats Xanthippe on the shoulder and takes her leave.

Sophroniscus reenters the room, crying.

Sophroniscus: Lamprocles hit me again.

© Lydia Masseron 2022

Lydia Masseron is a supply teacher in Wiltshire, where she spends her time inserting philosophy into a wide range of subjects.

This site uses cookies to recognize users and allow us to analyse site usage. By continuing to browse the site with cookies enabled in your browser, you consent to the use of cookies in accordance with our privacy policy. X