Essay on “Crito” by Plato

Essay on “Crito” by Plato:

Crito by Plato is not very long but thoughtful and important dialogue of ancient philosopher Socrates and his rich friend Crito. The main theme in that dialogue was the theme of justice and injustice.

The dialogue takes place in the jail, where Socrates was placed and his friend Crito came to visit him and brought a bad news to him about the fact that the next day after their conversation he will be executed.

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Immediately Crito proposes to escape from the jail in order to save Socrates’ life. He insists that it is very much important for his own reputation, as in case if he wouldn’t save him from jail, his friends would think that he honors money for his friends. He said that everyone should consider the opinion of the many because their negative attitude can do harm and bring evil. He insists that the most important thing is Socrates life. And that Socrates should think not only about himself, but also about his children. Crito blames Socrates for being coward, as he didn’t want to resist unjust attitude to him, and that he had chosen the easiest path for himself.

For Crito’s arguments Socrates had some of his own. For Socrates public opinion has no importance at all. Socrates believes that the opinion of many doesn’t guarantee that the decision is just and that their opinion is the one correct. Socrates’ the most important concern is whether the decision to escape would be just and correct. Socrates is not fear of his death and therefore he doesn’t want to escape from the prison.

To my opinion Plato’s main purpose in writing this dialogue was to discuss the meaning of justice and injustice. The discussion and arguments for Socrates escape show us that everything is relative so far and nothing can be viewed just from one point. Each person makes the decision taking into consideration his own experience and his own personal beliefs about things around. Crito seems to be very much egoistic, as he thinks just about himself, his reputation and tries to manipulate Socrates with the common sense by emphasizing on his own children whom he should care. Caring for children is very important thing and it was so for Socrates as well, but he didn’t want to mix such things as his own life and his feeling of justice with his own children. Everyone is responsible for himself and his life. And it is even more about the Socrates’ choice and feelings then about just attitudes. That doesn’t matter what would surrounding think, the public opinion has no importance at all to personal inside feelings of a person and he should not be influenced by them and should just listen to his own heart. As it is just Socrates life only and nobody is responsible for it. If he feels that his time to die came, he should not consider any external reasons for not dying. Death is very personal and sacred thing. It belongs to each person and is with him during all his life. It is unavoidable and cannot be delayed. It will come just when it should. And Socrates was wise enough to understand that and not to fear. It was the easiest path for Socrates- is was the thing that he knew should take place. He was the man of knowledge, who was not looking for casual relieves. He was sure about his life and from inside he was ready to leave this world for another one. For Socrates exile was unjust not only from the point of view of the Law, but he would betray primarily himself by acting like that. The most important thing to Socrates was staying in harmony with him and being honest with him only. H understood that nothing mattered and therefore he could just choose the path for his heart. He understood that actually doing evil or good things are the same, but he had chosen to do good ones- it was his heart’s choice, as evil gives birth to evil only.

Socrates was against corruption, as it was unfair and he considered that each person should feel responsibility wherever he is and whatever would happen to him.

Plato’s ideas are very relevant for modern readers from the standpoint that such notions as justice and injustice are eternal, and proper their understanding leads to harmonious life primarily with each individual’s personality.

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