Crito's Social Circles in Plato's Crito


  • Yosef Z. Liebersohn


In this paper I identify and discuss three different circles concerning Crito’s social relations: the internal circle of those who know him well; the external circle of those who are Crito’s fellow citizens but who do not know him well; and the third circle which is the polis with its laws. Crito uses – both consciously and unconsciously – different stratagems in dealing with these different circles. The speech of the Laws is Socrates’ attempt to allow Crito to see his actual behavior, as if reflected in a mirror. In fact Crito harms his friends, cheats his fellow citizens and destroys the polis.