"Phaedo", also known to ancient readers as "On the Soul", is one of the best-known dialogues of Plato's middle period, along with the "Republic" and the "Symposium". The "Phaedo", which depicts the death of Socrates, is also Plato's fourth and last dialogue to detail the philosopher's final day. In the dialogue, Socrates discusses the nature of the afterlife on his last day before being executed by drinking hemlock. Socrates has been imprisoned and sentenced to death by an Athenian jury for not believing in the gods of the state and for corrupting the youth of the city.
The dialogue is told from the perspective of one of Socrates' students, Phaedo of Elis, who has been present at Socrates' death bed. By engaging in dialectic with a group of Socrates' friends, Socrates explores various arguments for the soul's immortality in order to show that there is an afterlife in which the soul will dwell following death. After the discussion, Phaedo and the others were there to witness the death of Socrates.
Plato (428-348 BC) was a philosopher in classical Greece. Along with his mentor, Socrates, and his student, Aristotle, Plato helped to lay the foundations of Western philosophy and science.