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Symposium (version 2) (dramatic reading)

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By: (c. 428 BC - c. 347 BC)

In one of Plato's more accessible works, Apollodorus tells a friend about a drinking party (or symposium) attended by many of intellectuals of late 5th century Athens. The men are one their second night of celebration for Agathon's victory at the city Dionysia, and decide that instead of drinking, they should give speeches in praise of love. Apollodorus: KHandGlaucon: Elizabeth KlettCompanion to Apollodorus, and Pausanias: Beth ThomasAristodemus: ToddHWSocrates: alanmapstoneAgathon: Peter TuckerServant: staticstasyAristophanes: Libby GohnEryximachus: balaPhaedrus: Eden Rea-HedrickDiotima: Anna SimonAlcibiades: Chuck Williamson Edited by Libby Gohn

First Page:

SYMPOSIUM

By Plato

Translated by Benjamin Jowett

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... Continue reading book >>


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