Shakee G. Philbert
May 4, 2014 Crito is a dialog set in an Athenian prison. It takes place after the trial of Socrates but before his execution. In this dialog, Socrates is visited by his close friend Crito who is trying to convince Socrates for the last time that it is in his best interest to try and escape from prison. Through their discussion we find that Crito presents Socrates with arguments for why he should attempt an escape. Crito’s first argument states that if Socrates does not escape, he will be losing a very good friend. In addition, Crito feels he (Crito) will be looked upon in a negative fashion because people will think that it was possible for him to get Socrates out of jail, but he chose not to spend the money to do so. In the end, Crito believed people will not know that Socrates chose to stay in jail.
In his second argument, Crito reflects on why Socrates preferred not to escape prison. He believes Socrates will be troubled by the risk and financial expense that his friends will incur by helping Socrates escape prison. However, Crito assured Socrates that this is not an issue. Furthermore, Crito indicates that whatever money they spend on helping Socrates’ escape will be well worth it. Crito and Socrates’ allies are willing to bribe guards because they feel the risk of being caught is low and they are willing to do anything to keep him alive.
In Crito’s third argument, he discusses Socrates’ responsibility to his children. Since Socrates is a father, Crito believes he has an obligation to safeguard his children’s well-being and ensure their proper education. However, that cannot be done if Socrates is deceased. With this argument, Crito was trying to play to values that are very important to Socrates. Crito knows that Socrates tried to live his life in a good and right way and a good and right man would make sure that his children are taken care of. The good and smart thing to do would be to escape prison for the sake of his kids.
In response to Crito’s arguments, Socrates offers a couple of counter-arguments. The argument I will discuss is why Socrates feels the opinions of the majority do not matter or are