Dialogues of Plato | Study Guide


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Dialogues of Plato | Key Figures

Key Figure Description
Socrates Socrates (c. 469–399 BCE) is one of the world's most important philosophers. He is the key figure in almost every one of Plato's dialogues. Read More
Plato Plato is a young aristocrat and friend of Socrates who witnessed and recorded the philosopher's life and methods. Plato went on to be considered a great philosopher in his own right as well. Read More
Euthyphro Socrates's sole interlocutor in the eponymous dialogue, Euthyphro is a self-professed theologian, a religious expert. He feels a kinship with Socrates, in that he is unconventional and not particularly concerned that Athenians don't quite understand him. Read More
Crito Crito is an old and wealthy friend of Socrates. He and Socrates are about the same age. Crito is Socrates's sole interlocutor in the eponymous dialogue, Crito. Read More
Phaedo Phaedo recounts the events of Socrates's last day and execution in the dialogue that bears his name. Read More
Meno Meno is Socrates's interlocutor in the eponymous Meno. A follower of the Sophist Gorgias, Meno is himself a mercenary general. Read More
Gorgias Gorgias (c. 487–376 BCE) was a distinguished itinerant Sophist from Sicily. Along with Protagoras, Gorgias is considered one of the five major Sophists; he performed as a rhetorician to advertise his courses on rhetoric. Indeed, he was the leading teacher of rhetoric at the time. He appears in the Gorgias. Read More
Anytus Anytus is a prominent Athenian who briefly appears in the Meno. He is also one of Socrates's accusers mentioned in the Apology.
Boy The boy is a servant in Meno's home. In the Meno, Socrates enlists the boy in a demonstration that learning is recollection.
Callicles Callicles, a young man from a good Athenian family, is one of Socrates's interlocutors in the Gorgias. He advances the view that doing injustice is shameful only because that's what society dictates; by nature, it is not.
Cebes Cebes is a Pythagorean and one of Socrates's primary interlocutors in the Phaedo.
Chaerephon Chaerephon is one of Socrates's old friends, a devoted follower, and the person to whom Socrates refers in the Apology as having gone to the oracle at Delphi to ask if anyone is wiser than Socrates. Chaerephon participates in the Gorgias, but he has died by the time of Socrates's trial.
Echecrates Echecrates is the friend whom Phaedo tells of Socrates's last hours in the Phaedo.
The Laws of Athens In the Crito, Socrates assumes the voice of the Laws of Athens. In the ensuing 'conversation,' the Laws argue against Socrates's escape from jail, and so also his impending execution.
Meletus Meletus, a poet, is one of Socrates's accusers in the Apology. The other two "later" or newer accusers are Anytus, a politician and craftsman, and Lycon, an orator. Meletus, Anytus, and Lycon accuse Socrates of worshipping false gods, introducing new divinities, and corrupting the youth. Socrates describes him in the Euthyphro as belonging "to the deme [village] of Pitthus," a young man "with lanky hair and not much beard, but a hooked nose."
Polus Polus is a professional teacher of rhetoric. He also writes a handbook on the topic. In the Gorgias, he is still a young man. He is also mentioned in Plato's Phaedrus (267b).
Protagoras Protagoras (c. 490–420 BCE) is credited with creating the role of the Sophist, a teacher of virtue. Like Gorgias, Protagoras traveled Greece, serving as a teacher and advisor. He eventually settled in Athens. He is featured in Plato's Protagoras.
Simmias Simmias is a Pythagorean and one of Socrates's primary interlocutors in the Phaedo.
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