Before going into the specifics of exactly how Plato defends Socrates, we must first lay out the circumstances under which he does so. Crito takes place in a jail in the morning just days before Socrates is set to be executed. Crito, one of Socrates’ closer friends is able to bribe his way in to see Socrates and try to convince him to escape his punishment. Right away, we see Socrates in a vulnerable state having just woken up behind prison bars. We would expect him to be awash in emotion having been so unjustly convicted and sentenced, however Plato’s defense truly shines through as Plato addresses Crito’s pleas for him to escape.
Crito comes to Socrates confused as to how he could possibly be sleeping when such an unjust end awaits him. Socrates, calm as ever, believes that it...
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...Socrates, obey us, your nurturers, and do not regard children or living or anything else as more important that justice” (113). Socrates is using the voice of his accusers to explain his philosophy, a move that further intertwines justice and Socrates’ philosophy which in turn strengthens Plato’s defense. Socrates is defending himself within the framework of the law, a tactic that only helps him in his case.
What is perhaps most interesting is that Socrates is not fighting to escape death, rather he seeks to meet it. What Crito does is it lets Socrates (through Plato) put his money where his mouth is. Ultimately what we must ask ourselves is whether we believe Socrates. In facing death headstrong and in accordance with his philosophy, we are moved to believe in Socrates as well as his philosophy, something that Apology and Euthyphro do not do to the same extent.
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