When Socrates was in prison, he had a choice to drink or not to drink the hemlock poison that would cause his death. Even though Socrates wasn't afraid of dying, because he preferred that rather than exile, it didn’t serve him any purpose to do so. Death is a natural stage in the cycle of life and Socrates knew that dying was inevitable. In due time he would have been soon to face it but if was forced upon him. Corruption was what he was accused of and even though and he had the chance to properly defend himself the people was going to find him guilty anyway. They didn’t like Socrates and wanted to get rid of him. What better way than sentencing him to death by poison. I don’t believe in what Socrates did because he was wrongfully accused and was forced to commit suicide.
Before Socrates was placed in prison he stated the following, "It has been proved to us by experience that if we would have pure knowledge of anything we must be quit of the body- the soul in herself must behold things in themselves: and then we shall all attain the wisdom in which we desire, and of which we say that we are lovers not while we live, but after death." People never accepted and are going to accept his way of being they see him as someone who is trying to corrupt the youth rather than the Socrates being someone who is teaching them real wisdom of what in fact is real or not. It was also stated that "life was not worth having and he who is indifferent about them is as good as dead." Life isn't worth carrying on if you feel that you can't do what you were meant to set out and be. The Socrates believed themselves to be philosophers and also they weren't seen highly of they are not ashamed that the course of life was likely to bring them to an ultimate end. Socrates accepted their way of life as being a good and justified way to live, and therefore feel that being in jail wasn"t going to help them live their life.
But yet, Socrates did have a reason to be around for he was seen as a prophet by others. It was said, him using the god of Delphi as his witness, that there was no man wiser that him. He even tried to find men wiser than him but he couldn't’t for they thought they knew everything but they didn’t. And Yes, the Sophists believed themselves to be philosophers and philosophers were wise and persuasive people and people who loved wisdom. Socrates was indeed considered wise; in fact, he had such wisdom attainable by man by knowing that he only knows what he doesn't know. Furthermore Socrates was merely a midwife to the youth in learning. He simply aided to the opening of their minds. People didn't want the youth to be enlightened, or liked the thought that they started to think on higher levels so they accused Socrates of corrupting them.
Although he may have been seen by prophet by some to most he was corrupting the youth by going against the doctrine and teaching unorthodox beliefs. Although he was stated to be the wisest man by the god of Delphi, after doing an investigation with the politician, poets such as tragic dithyrambic and etc. he realized that the god of Delphi wasn't very truthful because he himself said "I have no wisdom, small or great." Socrates believe the mind and body take in what they get. After all just like it was explained in Hume's "On Suicide" the benefits of philosophy are that it gives people some truth to fiction. It also provides an explanation for things that causes people to be uncomfortable. Socrates used this to help explain to people and get his point across to help try and get people comfortable but was put in jail for corrupting the youth so he was no longer able to do what he felt he was destined to be doing. There is no point of him staying alive if he can't do what he felt he was destined to do. Like it also was explained on Hume's "On Suicide" if one doesn't make use of this he or she remains miserable and that's not what the Socrates wanted to be.
If Socrates would have went into exile I believe he could have prospered and continue to spread his teachings elsewhere. Just like death, Socrates did not fear what he did not know and he did not know the possibilities that were beyond the Athenian city. I believe that Socrates could have done better in another place. He was one of the greatest philosophers of his time, though you say that there is no point in him staying alive. He could have to a new place and his followers could have continued to grow and learn from him. Furthermore, drinking the hemlock was morally wrong. Socrates believe that death would be a good thing because the body would be separate from the soul but he wanted to die naturally and not by force of a poisonous liquid. Socrates was of old age and in given time nature would have taken its course.
He could not have spread his teachings elsewhere. His only option was to stay in jail. Escaping would only mean that the Socrates had a guilty mind and that they are trying to escape because they know that they did something wrong. The difference between true philosophers and most other people regarding their attitudes toward death is that most people believe that philosophers spend their entire life thinking about death and they deserve the way they die. Just like I stated previously they believed that that "life was not worth having and he who is indifferent about them is as good as dead." He made an agreement and believed that if he escaped it would be tantamount because he wants to be able to escape yet pay his respect to the Athenians. He tried to justify his escape but realized that an agreement was made and there"s no way around it. Only option he had was drinking the hemlock because it technically was not going against the agreement he had. For Socrates death consists in when the soul comes out of the body and the body no longer has the soul. Their position on pleasure is that when nothing is worth being excited about it is as if you are already dead. His conviction made it feel this way therefore I believe he should have drank the hemlock.