Understanding “Crito” I. Introduction Crito was one of the important five dialogues of Plato about his teacher/character Socrates who underwent trial and death. In this work entitled Crito, Socrates refused the proposal of Crito that escaping into exile than drinking the hemlock would be of better option. This means that the discussion will be on the Socrates as expounded on Crito rather than the historical Socrates. II.
In the reading, I found that Crito has five main criticisms that he presents to Socrates. The first criticism that Crito has is that the majority of people will think that Crito did not do enough to help Socrates. Crito is a wealthy man who would no doubt have the adequate amount in order to pay off some people as well as provide safe passage for Socrates. He would also be able to give Socrates a place of sanctuary with friends who would be able to keep Socrates safe. According to Crito, if Socrates were to remain in jail and succumb to the death sentence, it would give
Socrates should remain in prison after evaluating Critos arguments although Socrates’s were stronger. I’ll begin with Crito’s argument and what makes them strong, and what doesn’t. Next, I’ll focus on Socrates arguments and what makes them good and what makes them weak, mainly his focus that living with a bad soul isn’t worth living when you have a bad soul. Crito gives Socrates three arguments. 1.
Socrates’ Arguments in the Crito In The Crito, Socrates argues that he should not escape prison because it would be morally incorrect. He says that the really important thing is not to live but to live well. Therefore, by escaping prison, not only will he suffer the consequences but also his family, his friends, and the city of Athens. Socrates argues that the city of Athens would be affected if he escapes from prison. By escaping from prison, he would be breaking the laws of the city.
The Story of Crito by Plato is essentially a dialogue conversation between Crito and Socrates. Socrates is awaiting execution at the hands of the state. Crito has an elaborate plan in place to free Socrates from execution. Crito has paid the prison guard off so that Socrates can escape and has other loyalist to Socrates ready to help him escape and live his life in exile. Socrates is nearly 70 years old at the time and somewhat feels like his life is essentially already over.
When one is caught committing a crime, there will always be a consequence if found guilty. Socrates had his own multitude of ideas and questions that he could have just kept to himself or written down somewhere. Instead, he decided to carelessly flaunt his ideas to everyone in sight. He must have known that this would have repercussions. When Socrates says, “A man who really fights for justice must lead a private, not a public, life if he is to survive for even a short time” (Plato, 32), he is right.
By escaping from the prison, Socrates understands that he would be committing an evil act which would in no way remedy the wrong that was done to him. Ultimately, Socrates declares that evil must not be overcome with evil but with good. According to Socrates, there are no ways in which wrongdoing is considered “good and honorable.” Socrates lives his life based on the beliefs that to live a good and honorable life one must obey his morals. Escaping from the prison to Socrates represents a dishonorable act because he is going against his teachings and the Laws of Athens. The “good life” to Socrates is being able to ask questions and acquire knowledge, based on the understanding that he “knows nothing.” Socrates advices Crito to only listen to the opinions of those who understand the difference between “just” and “unjust” because only then will he understand why it would be wrong of Socrates to escape or “willingly do wrong”.
While reading Plato’s “Apology” in The Trial and Death of Socrates, it is almost impossible to not be inspired by his bravery and tenacity. When Socrates was tried for his controversial beliefs, he still refused to abandon his ideals, even in the face of death. Simultaneously, he gave fantastic reasoning as to why he should not be charged for living the way he did. Socrates could not have done more to secure his own acquittal. Socrates’ greatest ally in the defense of his position was his dedication to stay true to himself.
His writings explored justice, beauty, and equality, and contained discussions in aesthetics, political philosophy, theology, cosmology, epistemology and the philosophy of language. Plato founded the Academy in Athens, one of the first institutions of higher learning in the Western world. Due to a lack of primary sources from the time that Socrates and Plato lived, much of Plato's life has been constructed by scholars through his writings and the writings of colleagues and classical historians. As with many young boys of his social class, Plato was most likely taught by some of Athens' finest educators (including Socrates). “The Apology of Socrates” was written to keep the trial against Socrates alive for centuries to read and study the justice system of Athens.
Socrates attempted to persuade the men of Athens of his innocence by presenting himself as a good man and an authority of knowledge, as declared by the Delphic oracle. Socrates attempted to make a logical argument of the accusations when he questioned his accuser, Meletus. Then, to ensure his acquittal, he tried to appeal to the emotions of the judges. While Socrates’ defense was thought provoking, his inflation of self-importance worked against him in his trial, as he failed to persuade the court of his innocent ignorance. Socrates opening statement to the court was not only to build upon his character as favorable but also to lower the character of his accusers.