Essay about Plato 's ' The Crito '

Essay about Plato 's ' The Crito '

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Plato’s work, The Crito, explores one of the last days of Socrates’ life. This work is set in Socrates’ prison cell, where Socrates is visited by his close friend Crito. Crito is overwhelmed with emotion with the impending loss of his friend, and is attempting to passionately convince Socrates to run away and avoid his sentence set upon him by the court. Crito presents many arguments that would be compelling to most men of his time. Socrates lays out the principles that he has chosen to live his life by and challenges Crito to convince him to leave after considering these principles. Socrates never directly tells Crito he is wrong, but he asks questions that force Crito to ascertain that he is wrong.

Crito’s first set of arguments center around his friends, and the impact of Socrates choosing to accept his sentence would have on them. Crito states that people will think ill of him for not convincing Socrates to run away. Plato quotes Crito as saying, “that a great many people who don’t know you and me very well will think that I let you down.” (pg. 81) Crito goes on to explain to Socrates that he should not be worried for his friends paying money and or resources to help him escape, for Crito believes that it is only a small amount of money compared to the loss of his friend. He says that he will get a bad name if people believe that he was unwilling to spend the money to help Socrates. Crito follows this up with telling Socrates to not worry about any persecution his friends would be subject to, if caught assisting Socrates in escaping. Crito believes the risk of helping Socrates is worth the chance to save him.

Crito then moves on to tell Socrates that there are other places where Socrates can move to and continue to live a go...


... middle of paper ...


... to answer for his actions when faced with the Gods of the Underworld.

After Socrates talks out an imaginary conversation with Athens, Crito realizes his arguments are fruitless, and he will not change Socrates’ opinion. Plato ends the work with Socrates asking Crito if he wishes to try to change his view, and Crito responds with “No, Socrates. I have nothing to say.” (pg. 96)

Under Socratic Principles, we have various duties when it comes to laws and agreements as stated earlier. The first duty, is to always obey laws when they are just. Our second duty is to disobey laws that are based upon an unjust agreement. And thirdly, we are required to defy laws that if obeyed, would have a greater unjust outcome. With these duties in mind, Socrates is required to obey the laws of the state, because they are in fact just, and disobeying them would cause a greater injustice.

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