A prevailing theme of the scholarship on Plato’s Crito has been civildisobedience, with many scholars agreeing that the Athenian Laws do notdemand a slavish, authoritarian kind of obedience. While this focus on civildisobedience has yielded consensus, it has left another issue in the textrelatively unexplored—that is, the challenges and attractions of leavingone’s homeland or of “exit.” Reading for exit reveals two fundamental, yetcontradictory, desires in the Crito: a yearning to escape the injustice of thehomeland for self-preservation and freedom (voiced by Crito) and a deepseatedneed to honor one’s obligations and attachments to the homeland(voiced by the Laws). By exposing the conflicted nature of leaving one’snative land, Plato’s Crito enriches an understanding of the meaning andconsequences of an exit for the individual.
- Social criticism
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Sociology and Political Science