Essay about The Bet By Anton Chekhov

1420 Words Oct 22nd, 2015 null Page
In high school, I read a short story called The Bet by Anton Chekhov. The story was about a young lawyer who made a bet with a banker that imprisonment for fifteen years was better than the death penalty. Like Socrates in Plato’s Crito the lawyer was trying to contest society’s beliefs. While in confinement the lawyer reads many books, whose topics ranged from languages to philosophy. After fifteen years of solitary confinement the lawyer rejects his prize money and defaults on the bet, just hours before winning. I wonder if the man had read the Crito. We can reason that Socrates’ philosophy could have inspired the man to decide the more brash choice and try to teach his accusers a lesson. The man may have decided to default on the bet when he was so close to winning because he wished to make the lesson the banker learned more memorable and infinite. In the Crito even though Socrates thinks himself to be innocent of the charges brought against him, he still refuses to escape prison when presented with the opportunity. This helps Socrates teach his final lesson about the principles he believes are worth dying for. His principles are that the opinion of the many is unimportant, his life is not worth living with a corrupt soul, life is not as important as living justly, the only consideration to take into account is justice, and acting unjustly is always bad and shameful. Even though Socrates and the polis or laws arrive at the same conclusion that Socrates should not escape…

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