Crito by Plato
Plato’s third dialogue Crito takes us to Socrates’ prison cell. As we already know, Socrates has been sentenced to death and he is waiting for his execution. Meanwhile, one of his friends, Crito, decides to offer Socrates the gift of freedom; and the two men begin to discuss if escaping from prison is the right thing to do.
Crito introduces the fact that Socrates’ followers are going to be disappointed if he is willing to die and to let other people believe that his friends did nothing for him. Socrates implies that public opinion is not a good reason to change his mind. He believes that God’s will guides him, not the way other people think.
Next, Crito tries to convince his friend by sharing some details of the escape plan. Everything has been arranged for him; there is no risk of being catched; he shouldn’t worry about the financial costs of the journey. Furthermore, Socrates has an obligation to his young sons, and it won’t be fair to abandon them.
Socrates makes the point that the only thing that matters is if fleeing from prison is just. He is not scared of death but of going the wrong way – breaking the laws. He believes in the complex system of laws and considers everything as one whole. By choosing to live in Athens, Socrates has made the decision to obey the rules of the city and the only right way was to convince the jury of his innocence. Although they were wrong in their decision, he was unable to persuade them; and as a consequence, the philosopher must accept his fate.
Whether Socrates was right in his decision to die instead of running away from prison with the help of his friends is something that everyone should decide for himself. It is a fact that the core of a city/country is its laws. People created them in order to be followed and to prevent chaos. Most of the laws are interconnected and breaking one means breaking all of them.
According to Socrates the whole system of laws and...