Compare And Contrast Essay

717 words - 3 pages

Are you willing to die for what you truly believe in? Do you hold your personal morals and ethics close to your heart? These are questions I was challenged with after reading Plato’s Crito and Dr. King’s “Letters from Birmingham Jail”. Both literary works connect on a moral level that captures the reader’s attention and makes them reevaluate what they stand for. Though Socrates and Dr. King both wrote these respective literary works thousands of years apart from each other, both pieces pose a deeper more spiritual form of justice than any man-made law can attempt to justify; and both men would respectively rather die than escape and stay in jail than truly turn their back on justice.
. Socrates is imprisoned and sentenced to death for breaking Athenian law by “corrupting the youth” and “preaching about false gods”(Plato). His faithful follower Crito has to his aid and wants to free Socrates from his eventual and untimely demise. Socrates is reluctant to escape imprisonment because he would be contradicting what he so often preached. Crito attempts to persuade Socrates that if he stays in prison, that people will think less of him because he did not pay Socrates way out of jail. Socrates explains to Crtio that in this situation it does not matter what the people think, but only what is written in law (Plato). Socrates possesses a calm and happy disposition throughout this ordeal. His demeanor is puzzling to Crito, who offers many excuses of why he should just escape from prison with him and die a more noble death. Socrates feels that the laws of the state must be followed regardless if they are corrupt. Socrates explains to Crito that he is not a victim of the laws, but of corrupt men (Plato). His message to Crito and to the reader is clear and precise: Do not return evil for evil!
Though Dr. King’s letter was written thousands of years later many similarities can be noticed throughout this literary work. Dr. King’s situation differs from Socrates mainly because Dr. King’s obstruction to the law does not end in his death. Instead, Dr. King spends...

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