Essay on Crito by Plato

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Crito
By Plato

     
     Plato's Crito takes place after Socrates is condemned to death and sitting in his jail cell. Crito is Socrates' good friend and has come to visit Socrates in the hopes of convincing his old friend to escape. But Socrates logically refutes Crito's argument.
     Crito begins his argument by bringing bad news to Socrates, relating to him that the ship from Delos is approaching and, with it, the hour of his mandated death. Socrates seems resigned to his fated death, but Crito attempts to persuade him to allow his friends to help him escape prison and flee Athens. Crito fears that others will begin to criticize Socrates' disciples for not
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He goes on to say that he does not believe in consciously doing wrong to others as a means of retaliation and that it would indeed undermine his whole life's work. Socrates does not blame the laws which sentenced him, but the people. He goes on to tell Crito that the law has already given him a long and successful life. He explains that he actually owes the city much for his life. He believes that he has a contract with Athens, which would be broken, if he dodged his death. It was under the city's laws that his parents were married and he was born. Then the laws allowed him to get educated. In acknowledgement to all that the city has done for him, he must sacrifice his life as an example of obedience to the law.
     Also, Socrates refuses to allow the trite motive of retaliation dictate his behavior, since he believes that revenge is immoral. He goes on to ask Crito what good would a society be with laws if anyone could simply ignore them when the outcome does not suit them. Instead, he attests that logical argument and persuasion should be the defense of the accused. And, furthermore, since he is unable to convince those who ruled against him, he believes he has no alternative but to obey their sentence. Otherwise, although escape would be easy, it would only corrupt an already corrupt system further. In the end, Socrates manages to convince Crito that escape would not be right or just, and Crito agrees.

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