Literapedia Book Notes for

Crito by Plato


  • Socrates—a man in search of truth
  • Crito--a friend to Socrates

Background to “Crito”

  1. The scene is the prison of Socrates, about a month after his trial.
  2. Crito is a good friend of Socrates, and he was present at the trial.
  3. Even those who condemned Socrates hoped that he would escape and leave the city.

Crito’s Appeal to Socrates (1-35)

  1. Socrates should escape because his friends want him to live.
  2. If Socrates doesn’t escape, Crito and his other friends will be blamed.

The Premises of the Consideration of Escape (36-69)

  1. “The good [opinions] are to be regarded and not the bad” (40).
  2. “the opinions of the wise are good, and the opinions of the unwise are evil” (42).
  3. “not life, but a good life, is to be chiefly valued” (66)
  4. “a good life is equivalent to a just and honorable one” (68).

Is Escape the Right Thing to Do? (70-107)

  1. Step 1: Doing evil to ward off evil is never right.
  2. Step 2: Socrates owes allegiance to the State.
  3. Step 3: It would be wrong to disobey the State, and it would not be in the best interest of Socrates, either.

Book Note Creator

Hal Waller, instructor