Socrates leaves the choice open between two possibilities:
death is either dreamless sleep
or migration of the soul to another world.
What he asserts, however, is that in either case,
fear of death is unfounded,
and that it is only under the influence of this fear
that death appears to be the greatest evil.
Yet as dreamless sleep, “Death will be an
And if it is “a journey to another place….what can be
better than this?”
But how could he convince his listeners that death is not to
There is ample evidence in Plato’s report of the trial of
that he could have talked his way out and gained acquittal,
or at least have avoided the death penalty.
Socrates, however, chose death,
for only in this way could he convince his followers
that death is not to be feared.
2 | ART OF DYING