54 (1):29-57 (2020
The ending of the Phaedo is one of the most powerful and memorable moments in the entire Platonic corpus. It is not simply the end of a single dialogue, but a depiction of the end of the life of the man (Socrates) who is a looming presence in nearly everything that Plato wrote. In this article I offer an in-depth analysis of the final scene of the Phaedo. I argue that Plato very carefully constructs the scene for the sake of specific philosophical, dramatic, and political ends. Plato uses it to unify the Phaedo as a singular text, while also provoking us to reflect on the nature of our lives, our deaths, and the possibilities and limits of philosophy itself.