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SYMPOSIUM
     

SYMPOSIUM

4.2 70
by Plato
 

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INTRODUCTION.

Of all the works of Plato the Symposium is the most perfect in form,
and may be truly thought to contain more than any commentator has ever
dreamed of; or, as Goethe said of one of his own writings, more than the
author himself knew. For in philosophy as in prophecy glimpses of the
future may often be conveyed in words which

Overview

INTRODUCTION.

Of all the works of Plato the Symposium is the most perfect in form,
and may be truly thought to contain more than any commentator has ever
dreamed of; or, as Goethe said of one of his own writings, more than the
author himself knew. For in philosophy as in prophecy glimpses of the
future may often be conveyed in words which could hardly have been
understood or interpreted at the time when they were uttered (compare
Symp.)--which were wiser than the writer of them meant, and could not
have been expressed by him if he had been interrogated about them.
Yet Plato was not a mystic, nor in any degree affected by the Eastern
influences which afterwards overspread the Alexandrian world. He was
not an enthusiast or a sentimentalist, but one who aspired only to
see reasoned truth, and whose thoughts are clearly explained in his
language. There is no foreign element either of Egypt or of Asia to
be found in his writings. And more than any other Platonic work the
Symposium is Greek both in style and subject, having a beauty 'as of
a statue,' while the companion Dialogue of the Phaedrus is marked by
a sort of Gothic irregularity. More too than in any other of his
Dialogues, Plato is emancipated from former philosophies. The genius of
Greek art seems to triumph over the traditions of Pythagorean, Eleatic,
or Megarian systems, and 'the old quarrel of poetry and philosophy' has
at least a superficial reconcilement. (Rep.)

An unknown person who had heard of the discourses in praise of love
spoken by Socrates and others at the banquet of Agathon is desirous of
having an authentic account of them, which he thinks that he can
obtain from Apollodorus, the same excitable, or rather 'mad' friend of
Socrates, who is afterwards introduced in the Phaedo. He had imagined
that the discourses were recent. There he is mistaken: but they are
still fresh in the memory of his informant, who had just been repeating
them to Glaucon, and is quite prepared to have another rehearsal of them
in a walk from the Piraeus to Athens. Although he had not been present
himself, he had heard them from the best authority. Aristodemus, who
is described as having been in past times a humble but inseparable
attendant of Socrates, had reported them to him (compare Xen. Mem.).

The narrative which he had heard was as follows:--

Aristodemus meeting Socrates in holiday attire, is invited by him to
a banquet at the house of Agathon, who had been sacrificing in
thanksgiving for his tragic victory on the day previous. But no sooner
has he entered the house than he finds that he is alone; Socrates has
stayed behind in a fit of abstraction, and does not appear until the
banquet is half over. On his appearing he and the host jest a little;
the question is then asked by Pausanias, one of the guests, 'What shall
they do about drinking? as they had been all well drunk on the day
before, and drinking on two successive days is such a bad thing.' This
is confirmed by the authority of Eryximachus the physician, who further
proposes that instead of listening to the flute-girl and her 'noise'
they shall make speeches in honour of love, one after another, going
from left to right in the order in which they are reclining at the
table. All of them agree to this proposal, and Phaedrus, who is
the 'father' of the idea, which he has previously communicated to
Eryximachus, begins as follows:--

He descants first of all upon the antiquity of love, which is proved by
the authority of the poets; secondly upon the benefits which love gives
to man. The greatest of these is the sense of honour and dishonour.
The lover is ashamed to be seen by the beloved doing or suffering any
cowardly or mean act. And a state or army which was made up only of
lovers and their loves would be invincible. For love will convert the
veriest coward into an inspired hero.

And there have been true loves not only of men but of women also. Such
was the love of Alcestis, who dared to die for her husband, and in
recompense of her virtue was allowed to come again from the dead. But
Orpheus, the miserable harper, who went down to Hades alive, that he
might bring back his wife, was mocked with an apparition only, and
the gods afterwards contrived his death as the punishment of his
cowardliness. The love of Achilles, like that of Alcestis, was
courageous and true; for he was willing to avenge his lover Patroclus,
although he knew that his own death would immediately follow: and
the gods, who honour the love of the beloved above that of the lover,
rewarded him, and sent him to the islands of the blest.

Product Details

BN ID:
2940012417589
Publisher:
SAP
Publication date:
05/18/2011
Sold by:
Barnes & Noble
Format:
NOOK Book
File size:
82 KB

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The Symposium 4.2 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 70 reviews.
Paradeus More than 1 year ago
This book is one of the classics of Western thought. It is not only a glimpse into Greek culture and norms but also into one of the West's greatest minds.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Join element acedmy at sun res 4 see you there! ~ Galacy
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
*she followed Haddi after she muttered a pray to rantach*
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
*walked in* "Oh sh.it"
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Test
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Lol.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Stupid ASS PI!!! Sorry teya. :)
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The~ " im at where we talk at the next book.... " teas roll don my face. " I thought you were different...."
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The~ looks away " I should have known...... " runs off. " I trusted you pi!!! and now you do this!!! I shouldove guessed!!!""
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Teh to Pi~ im at the next book... its caalled black ops: omega missile. i miss you.. im going to gabs house after school so we can mabey figure out a way to talk.... plz reply... I love you ...
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Tehya~ walks in. " i only got one post so... to Athena: Dont you dare try anything i trust Pi, but STILL... ill bb whenever my nook is still gone so.... " turns to Pi " i love you and watch out for the stalkers!!! hehe love you babe, im at our next result" gone
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Im a she-cat. Fu.ck me!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Was impaled in a branch. Locked her bloodred eyes upon Storm's " MY kind will pursue you to the end. Not even your mate will be able to protect you... You shall die at the talons of my brothers and sisters. " She made a death rattle and slumped, dead.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Gtgt soccer bbl
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is Amethyst.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
'I realy missed u' he murmerred.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Set the stuff down and looked about and found a opal in a bush... oh whats this?
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
a teenaged dragon flys in. Its markings are Black and Neon.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
"Hardy har har."
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Swims to the girl
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
She holds on to Neji for dear life. "Taje us.... us home... take us to.. camp..."
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Waits for anyone. ~Ava
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
*lays on the ground with a dislocated leg and abroke a$$ shoulder*
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
She looks at leonidas.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I alrrady know someone else asked this question, but where was your story? I really want to help...