Crito Essay, Research Paper
1. Crito’s ArgumentsThe arguments of Crito are centred and clear. He uses simple persuasion to try and convince Socrates to escape. His arguments push the idea that Socrates should attempt escape for the sake of others, namely his children, friends and the many.Crito points out that other men would have no hesitation in escaping, despite their age. This is dismissed when Socrates states that someone who has lived so long should rejoice in the fact that they have had such a full life.Some of the arguments Crito makes deal with the friends of Socrates. He rightly assumes that one reason Socrates will not escape is because he is afraid of getting Crito and his friends in trouble. He pleads with Socrates to let go of his worry since they are willing to take this chance. He points out that Socrates need not worry about using his money or anyone else he knows since Crito’s friends have come from Thessaly with money to persuade the guards. He can escape and go to Thessaly where he will be loved just as much as in Athens.He also argues that Socrates is deserting his children and leaving them to the life of an orphan by staying. He should escape for their sake, to educate and teach them. He is taking the route of a coward in dying since that is the easier way. This is not the route that one who professes virtue and justness should take.The arguments of Crito have much to do with the many, or the population of Athens. He pleads with Socrates to consider him and his friends. In Crito’s view, the many will think that he was not willing to help and that he values money more than Socrates’ friendship. He points out that the many must be regarded since they can do the greatest evil. Socrates has the knowledge to curb this and educate them in what is just and right. A great evil is being done because Socrates enemies, the many, have unjustly sentenced Socrates to death. In having the sentence carried out, Socrates is letting his enemies win and an unjust opinion stand. Because of this, it would benefit all for him to escape and in this case, the good of Socrates escaping outweighs the evil in it.
2. Socrates’ Arguments Socrates has complex arguments that twist and turn towards a greater end. The larger picture of his arguments is the fact that we must keep our soul intact by doing what is right and just. In answer to Crito’s first argument, Socrates poses the question of whether we should care about the opinion of the many. He points out that the only opinions worth considering are those of good men. The many do not have the power to make someone wise and what they do is purely by chance.Through the example of a gymnast, he shows Crito that one should follow someone with understanding in the matters of justice rather than the many, who are only to be feared. Doing what is right and just is more important than the body. In doing this, he proves to Crito that the opinion of the many would be wrong in the case of justice. Having established that one must not follow the many, most of Crito’s arguments are dismissed.Socrates proceeds to argue that a just and honourable life is to be valued most. He states that the doer of evil is hurt more than the receiver. It is established with Crito that doing evil on someone in return for an evil done to you is unjust and wrong. Although the Athenians have done evil to Socrates, for him to escape, he would be doing an evil to the Athenians in response to their unjustness. This would clearly be wrong. He tells Crito that he has lived in Athens his whole life and agreed to their rule and in doing this has made an unwritten contract with the city. To escape now would betray everything he has taught his students and lived for to this point. In response to Crito’s argument of Socrates deserting his children, he states that in escaping, he hurts them more by depriving them of Athenian citizenship.Socrates also states that a government can not function if the laws are discarded with such little thought. Thus, Socrates should abide by the ruling for the sake of the state. He ends by saying, through the voice of the government, that it would be better for him to move into the next world with the knowledge that he has stood by his beliefs and has not betrayed himself for a little more life.