Phthia

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The human fascination with dreams is almost timeless and, as we do today, these interlocutors are debating the meaning of a dream. This "vision," involves elements of Homer's writings about the Greek hero, Achilles. In it a beautiful woman tells Socrates that he will go to Phthia in three days. Since Phthia is the home of Achilles, Socrates interprets the dream to mean that he will be going home soon. His home, however, will be the Underworld and he believes that the dream foreshadows his death.

Crito prefers to interpret the dream to mean that Socrates should escape to Thessaly, the region in which Phthia is located. If he makes his escape soon, Socrates could be there in three days. For Socrates, however, this would be dishonorable just as it would have been dishonorable for Achilles to go home and abandon his military duties. Achilles chose to stay and fight the Trojan War knowing that he was destined to die shortly after Hector. Socrates, like Achilles, is choosing a noble death over a life of disgrace!