Plato and Socrates States Essay

Submitted By dreamtiger347
Words: 1368
Pages: 6

The Crito written by Plato is a conversation that supposedly was held when Crito went to visit Plato in prison. Critos purpose for visiting Socrates was to persuade him to escape prison to avoid being executed by the dishonest accusers. He doesn’t want Socrates to die because then Crito would be looked down in shame for not helping his friend. But more importantly Crito doesn’t want Socrates to die because he children would be fatherless and then Socrates would look like a coward. Crito say to Socrates, “ You seem to have chosen the easiest path, whereas one should choose the path a good and courageous man would choose, particularly when one claims throughout ones life to care for virtue” (45d, Crito,Plato). In response Socrates argues that it is not worth it to pay attention to the views of ignorant people but only listen to people with knowledge. To Socrates his concern is not what the people will think of him but whether or not escaping from prison is just or not. Socrates is a strong follower of the law and will never do anything to disobey it. Socrates personifies the laws of Athens as a way to represent his strong belief in it and as a justification as to why he should stay in prison By observing this personification that Socrates gives to the laws, it allows the readers to distinguish between the people who wronged Socrates and the laws of Athens. Throughout the text we see that Socrates gives the law of Athens human attributes to justify his belief in obeying the law. In Crito, the law of Athens, which is an inanimate and intangible object, speaks and can get destroyed by the people living in the Athens. For example, if Socrates ran away from prison the law of Athens would confront him and say, “Tell me, Socrates, what are you intending to do? Do you not by this action you are attempting intend to destroy us, the laws and indeed the whole city as far as you are concerned?” (50b,Crito, Plato). And if Socrates replied back he would say, “The city wronged me and its decision was not right” (50c, Crito,Plato). The law would then question, “ Was that the agreement between us, Socrates, or was it to respect the judgments that the city came to?” ( 51d, Crito,Plato). In Crito, Socrates states, “One should never do wrong in return, nor do any man harm, no matter what he may have done to you” ( 49d, Crito,Plato). At this point, Socrates is trying to convince Crito that one must always do what he has agreed to and never commit injustice toward anyone. By escaping from prison, which is forbidden under the law, there would be injustice committed and an agreement that is broken. Since one can only act unjustly and break an agreement toward someone with feelings, like a human being, Socrates must personify the laws of the state to justify his position on not escaping from prison because if he decides to escape prison he would be committing unjustified harm to the laws of Athens and destroying them. Another way in which Socrates personifies the laws of Athens to justify his position is by treating the agreement between the individual and the laws in a way that one would treat an agreement between two people. There are many examples of Socrates having a relationship between the law of Athens. For example the laws say, “Did we not, first bring you to birth, and was it not through us that your father married your mother and begat you? Tell us, do you find anything to criticize in those of us who are concerned with marriage?” (50d, Crito, Plato). The laws seem to have played an important role in shaping the life of Socrates. Not only did they give birth to him but they had an impact on his education and made sure he received the skills needed in the arts and physical culture field. The laws say, “ Were those not assigned to that subject not right to instruct your father to educate you in the arts and physical culture” (50d,Crito,Plato).By examining this statement made by the laws, we can see that laws are considered higher than