Plato's Phaedo Short Essay - Answer Key

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1. What does Echecrates ask Phaedo at the beginning of "Phaedo"?

At the beginning of "Phaedo", Echecrates asks Phaedo if he was present when Socrates drank the hemlock.

2. Why was Socrates held in jail before his execution?

Socrates was held in jail prior to his execution because of a religious festival that was occurring in Athens during the trial. It was against Athenian law to execute a prisoner during religious festival in order to keep the city pure. His execution, therefore, was postponed until after the festival ended.

3. Who was present when Socrates died?

When Socrates died, a good many of his friends were present, including Phaedo, Appolodurus, Critobulus and his father, Crito, Hermogenes, Epigenes and others. Some strangers were also present when Socrates died.

4. On the day Socrates was to die, who did Socrates stand before and why?

On the day of Socrates' execution, Socrates stood before "the Eleven," also known as the police commissioner of Athens in order to be told how he would be executed.

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