Study Questions for Plato's Crito


1.     Why does Crito not wake up Socrates? What is Socrates’ mood in the prison?

2.     What bad news does Crito bring?

3.     What are Crito's reasons for why Socrates ought to escape from Athens? List as many reasons as you can find. Is there any place Socrates could go?

4.     Should we listen to the public’s opinion? Can the many hurt you? Why does Crito think so? Why does Socrates think not? What is Socrates’ response to Crito’s claim that he must pay attention to what ordinary people think and do?

5.     If Socrates’ questions the relevance of the public’s opinion, then whom should we listen to?

6.     What sort of life does Socrates think is a good life?

7.     What do you think Socrates is talking about when he speaks of that part in us that is harmed by unjust actions and benefited by just actions?

8.     What are Socrates' reasons for why it is wrong for one to retaliate against those who do one harm? Why would it be wrong for Socrates to disobey the sentence of the jury?

9.     How do the Laws of Athens reply to Socrates' proposed claim that the State has injured him by pronouncing an unjust sentence?

10. In what ways are the Laws of Athens responsible for Socrates' very existence?

11. How does Socrates think that other well-governed cities will receive him if he escapes from Athens?

12. How would escaping lead Socrates to live a life not worth living?

13. Do you agree that Socrates had made a contract with Athens? Why or why not?

14. Do you feel that you have a contract with your home-country? What would the terms of that contract be?

15. You have also read Lem’s short story, the Seventh Sally. In what respects does it differ from Plato’s view on the obligation toward the city/state?




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