24 pages 48 minutes read



Nonfiction | Essay / Speech | Adult | BCE

A modern alternative to SparkNotes and CliffsNotes, SuperSummary offers high-quality Study Guides with detailed chapter summaries and analysis of major themes, characters, and more.

Key FiguresCharacter Analysis


Although Socrates was a historical figure, Socrates in Crito is also a literary character invented, to some degree, by Plato. (The relation between the historical Socrates and the character in Plato’s dialogues remains a matter of scholarly controversy.) In Crito, Socrates is, more than anything else, a rational person. When Crito comes to rescue him, Socrates says, “We must therefore examine whether we should act in this way or not, as not only now but at all times I am the kind of man who listens to nothing within me but the argument that on reflection seems best to me” (46b). Even when imprisoned and facing execution, Socrates insists that he cannot act rashly. Moreover, Socrates tells Crito, “I think it important to persuade you before I act, and not to act against your wishes” (48e). Rather than simply defying Crito’s wishes for him to escape, Socrates respects his longtime friend enough to try and convince Crito of this course of action. This act shows Socrates’s commitment to maintaining his friendship with Crito and to demonstrating to his friend what it means to live a virtuous life. By taking the time to explain his logic to Crito, he can help Crito get on the right path of thought.