Study Questions for Plato’s Crito
1. At the beginning of Crito (43a-b), what is the setting (time and place) in which the dialogue takes place, and why was Crito able to be there? The dialog takes place in Socrates’ cage early in the morning just before dawn. Crito got an access because he has done a favor for the guard before. 2. What does Crito remark (43b) about Socrates’ condition or mood, and what does Socrates say in reply? Crito is surprised at how calm Socrates is. Socrates says that there is no point in being angry or sad at this moment. 3. How much longer does Socrates have to live before he will be executed, and what will determine this? He probably has a day or two more to live, because he will be executed when the ship arrives and that ship is supposed to arrive in a day. 4. What is the initial reason that Crito offers Socrates (44b) why Socrates should “obey” him, and what is the gist of Socrates’ response and Crito’s response to that (44d-c)? Crito offers Socrates to escape prison and run away to another city, because he says it will be painful for him to lose such a good friend this way and that there are many people waiting to help, and also that they will be disappointed if he didn’t escape. Socrates says he is worried that if he escapes Crito and his companions will be in danger. Crito says it is easy to bribe them because he and his friends have enough money. 5. What are the main reasons Crito offers in 44c-46a to convince Socrates to take the opportunity to escape? Crito doesn’t want Socrates to be prosecuted because he thinks that whole trial thing was just absurd. He tells Socrates that he can continue living and sharing his knowledge in another place and can help his sons. 6. What are the main questions Socrates asks or the main principles he states in 46b-48a in examining whether escaping would be the right thing to do? Is life worth living? Whom he must be ashamed before and fear most of all? Why does he have to care about opinions...
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