Essay about Socrates and Crito

Submitted By julesmcgo
Words: 1238
Pages: 5

“Bromance” between Socrates and Crito

It is very obvious that Crito is Socrates’ closest friend. An entire dialogue is dedicated to him in Plato’s Five Dialogues and he is mentioned in the other two dialogues read for class. Although it is unknown how this friendship started and developed so strongly it is obvious to see how much Socrates means to Crito. As Aristotle stated, “friendship is most necessary for our life. For no one would choose to live without friends” (119). Although both Crito and Socrates have additional friends, none of those friendships are as perfect as their own. As we read Nicomachean Ethics, we are told that complete friendship is “the friendship of good people similar in virtue” (Aristotle 122). I do not doubt this definition but it is also important not to forget that complete friendship has more aspects to it than similar virtue. Crito is perceived as a man devoted to friendship in all of the dialogues we have read. He is always showing his loyalty to Socrates especially when Crito offers to be Socrates’ benefactor in two instances. Crito proposed to pay the fine, if Socrates’ penalty is a fine, from the trial in the Apology and again offers to pay to bribe the informers to let Socrates leave just as he bribed the informers to let him in before visiting hours. Crito chooses to be a friend of utility in these instances only after they have a complete friendship which justifies the offering despite the fact that Socrates did not even take advantage of the opportunity. As Aristotle tells us, “base people are those who are friends for pleasure or utility without already having a complete friendship” (124). So this validates that Socrates and Crito are good and not base people. And according to Aristotle, “what appears good appears loveable” (125). So not only are they good people, they are also loveable. Though it becomes apparent that Crito loves Socrates more than Socrates loves Crito. Especially when reading the Apology, when we observe Crito trying to convince Socrates to leave prison and fulfill his life. Crito tells Socrates that if he chooses to die he is betraying his sons and himself, giving his friends a bad reputation because they failed in saving him, and he is being unjust to his life since he is not saving it when he has a chance. Unfortunately, these arguments were to no prevail because Socrates is marginally egotistical and believes that his reasoning is the most just and should be the course taken. This example of Crito pleading to Socrates but later accepting Socrates’ justification points toward another classification of friendship between the two friends. Socrates and Crito are not equals. Instead, they are unequals because Socrates is more of a teacher figure to Crito, making him superior to Crito. This also gives the friendship a different type of love. Crito has to love Socrates more to make the friendship proportional. “The more beneficial person [Socrates] must be loved more than he loves for when the loving accords with the comparative worth of the friends, equality is achieved in a way, and this seems to be proper to friendship” (Aristotle 127). This difference in equality does not mean that the friendship will not endure. We have proof that it does exist until the one friend, Socrates, dies but “in friendship it is equality primarily in quantity and secondary in worth” (Aristotle 127). So if there is effort, then the friendship will continue to exist until either death in this case or with negligence. However, this inequality is interesting because it could suggest another type of inequality. This one regarding a separation in virtue of good to superior, but I do not believe this to be true. According to Aristotle, if one is excellent while one is only good then there cannot be a complete friendship since it needs the be level virtues. Therefore, the inequality in community is the only inequality in the relationship. Since