Book Review: Plato’s Crito

Plato’s Crito was a truly sincere piece. I really like this piece because it continued on from the story of Apology and showed that Socrates really did have followers that loved him and listened to his good advice and words of wisdom. This story was a perfect example of someone who know matter what sticks to what they believe no matter the consequences. This is rare in today’s way of life; today most people act like they are all out for themselves. This is the story about a man who knows what he believes and why he believes it and wants to do what’s not only just and right for himself, but as well for his family, friends and those who will continue to hear about him. Socrates definitely wanted his legacy to be remembered.
I really admired the entire dialogue of the story, Crito. The entire story was about a man named Crito that was trying to convince his friend and adviser that he should escape, that he should flee from this condemned death he has been given. I believed that it was an ill attempt from the beginning, I remembered Apology and how Socrates remained the same and never wavered from his path. I knew that Socrates would end up convincing Crito that fleeing was not the answer that would save them all. Even though I knew that Crito would fail in trying to persuade Socrates, I was, and I’m sure Socrates was appreciative for his warm-hearted attempt. Crito was surely a kind-hearted fellow who was concerned about his friend, he even let Socrates sleep peacefully longer as to not condemn him to longer pain in the waking of his soon to be demise. Crito tried to convince Socrates, however unsure he was of the assured consequences to follow; Crito was very brave to try to help Socrates and he will be remembered for that thoughtfulness.
Though Crito failed in his intended mission of convincing Socrates to escape, he did try his hardest with the logic he thought would be enough to do the trick. Crito in the beginning made clear that not only he wanted him to escape because he was important to many people, but also because of personal hurt, for he did not offer to pay for him to be freed, though that wouldn’t have helped anyway. Crito fear the public’s opinions of what they would think towards himself as well as Socrates, who is known for his calm, peace filled life. He didn’t want Socrates name to be kicked in the mud. On page 24 Crito said, “the opinion of the many must be regarded, as is evident in your own case because they can do the very greatest evil to anyone who has lost their good opinion” (Plato 24). Crito never begged or pleaded with Socrates however he did try to assure him that there were many a man that was willing to help in his escape. Many people loved and respected Socrates and were willing to give money and refuge to him. Crito tried to suggest it would be better for his children if he escaped, on page 25 he said, “No man should bring children into the world who is unwilling to persevere to the end in their nature and education” (Plato 25). Crito said it would be better for himself and his children to stay together. Crito tried to convince Socrates to flee and not to be afraid of being alone because wherever he went he would be loved and respected for his words and wisdom. I appreciated Crito’s attempt at trying to save Socrates life.
Socrates had many good well thought out arguments; he knew what he believed and why he believed it. That is always the mark of a good man. I of course agreed with many if not all of his arguments, however I could say that I in the end, maybe I don’t agree with any of them. The ways in which I do agree are as follows. I appreciate that as an older man, the prospect of death is not as damning for him, especially because his faith is a constant companion for him, that alone makes his arguments hold a certain power and control over his life. I really like what Socrates had to say about the opinions of others. On page 24 he said “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 as truly as they happened” (Plato 24). It’s kind of my own way of thinking, If I am doing good and right, what does it matter what others think? Socrates whole manner of arguing was on whether fleeing would, in the end, actually be the right course of action. He stated on page 27 that it would hurt his family and friends if he did such a thing as fleeing. Not only that but it would be an affront to the authority of the government in which he has lived his entire life. He asked if it would be wrong to do wrong to the government whether or not he thought he was right. Socrates never wished to be a hypocrite but to be always honorable and just, despite the consequences and view of the people around him. He believed that it would be wrong to go against Athenian government, the government which he allowed himself to be tried at, the place he allowed himself to live in and abide by their laws for his whole life. Whether he agreed with their laws, he would never do harm and that includes going against the government. His point was that if he ran, and everybody ran, whether they were innocent or not, there would be no sense of justice and that would cause anarchy. Socrates explained in pages 31 and 32 that he could have left earlier if he wanted to, he could have left if he didn’t like where he was living, but he did not. Socrates agreed to stay and to be judged by the laws in the land in which he choose to stay and teach his words. Not only that but it was in fact Socrates who choose death over exile, as to be honorable to the end, he would not slander himself by seeming ridiculous and causing his friends and family the grief of having him run from the law forever. Socrates was very wise in the words in which he spoke and I can completely understand why he would choose not to escape from his fated death.
Though I agreed with Socrates arguments, there is one way in which I would refute or disagree with them. From one of my favorite shows, Star Trek, there is a character that said that “The needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few.” (“10 Spock Quotes to Remember Leonard Nimoy.”), or the one. This was a way for the character to explain and justify his reason for sacrificing himself for everyone else. Though this is a bold and noble gesture, later this characters best friend and others saves him, at the expense of disobeying orders and giving up his whole career, which is his whole life, and he exchanges similar words to him. He said, “Because the needs of the one… outweigh the needs of the many.” (“Quotes.”). Though these are different circumstances, it does have some similarities, Socrates wants to spare his friends and family the grief of a life of him always on the run, he wants to sacrifice himself for the cause. Overall however, his arguments alone, without the sentiment behind them, I agree with Socrates.

Works Cited

Plato, and Benjamin Jowett. Six great dialogues: Apology, Crito, Phaedo, Phaedrus, Symposium and the Republic. Place of publication not identified: BN Publishing, 2010. Print.
“Quotes.” IMDb. IMDb.com, n.d. Web. 17 Jan. 2017
“10 Spock Quotes to Remember Leonard Nimoy.” The Hollywood Reporter. N.p., n.d. Web. 17
Jan. 2017.

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