Plato’s Crito: The Last Days Of Socrates

1480 words - 6 pages

As Socrates awaits his upcoming execution; he is visited before dawn by a close old friend Crito. Crito has made arrangements to help Socrates escape from prison. Socrates is grateful to his old friend for his willing to help aide him in the escape. However, Socrates is quite willing to await his execution. Crito tries to change Socrates mind about escaping by presenting him with several arguments. The first is that if Socrates choices to stay, his death will reflect poorly on Crito. The people will think that Crito did nothing to save his friend. If Socrates is worried about the risk or the financial cost to Crito; it’s an expense that he is willing to pay, and that he made arrangements for Socrates to live a life of exile in a pleasant manner. The next argument that Crito pleads to Socrates is that, if he stays, he would be helping his enemies in their injustices, and in turn would make Socrates act in an unjustly manner himself. Also, that Socrates would be abandoning his sons and leave them without a father.
Crito explains that he has come early in the morning due to the fear that Socrates’ death is close. The Delos will be arriving at Athens soon. Crito predicts that the boat will arrive in sometime during the day meaning that Socrates will be executed that following day. Socrates replies that he will not be executed tomorrow but on the third day. “To the pleasant land of Phthia on the third day thou shalt come.”(44b).
Crito is worried that his dear friend is accepting that he will be executed, so he explains that he has made arrangements for Socrates to escape though some bribes. Crito thinks that no one would believe that Socrates had been willing to face his execution but, instead that Crito would be accused of not aiding his friend in to escape. Crito thinks that people would think that he values money more than his friend’s life. Socrates informs his friend that one should only care about the opinion of sensible people; that are willing to see things for what they are and how those things turn out. “But why, my dear Crito, should we care about the opinion of the many? Good men, and they are the only persons who are worth considering, will think of these things truly as they happened” (44C) Crito wants his friend to realize that sometimes the popular opinion is more powerful and any even more dangerous. The public has an unlimited capacity for doing harm to others and his trail/sentencing will be proof of this. Socrates doesn’t see it that way and disagrees with his friend, the public had the power of doing good. Socrates believes that the public doesn’t make the man right or wrong.
The next argument that Crito address to Socrates; is does he fear of putting his friends endangering or at an inconvenience for escaping. Crito and others friends are willing to face the danger of this and understand the risk. Crito doesn’t want Socrates to fear living in exile because he can ensure that Socrates will leave in comfort. Several wealthy...

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