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Unformatted text preview: 6 The speech of Alcibiades: a reading of the Symposium He had a golden shield made for himseLf, which was emblazoned not with any ancestral device, but with the FIgure of Eros armed with a thunderbolt. (Plutarch, Aldbiar, 16) 'Im going to tell the truth. Do you think youll allow that? (24E. He was, to begin with, beautifl. He was endowed with a physical gRace and splendor that captivated the entire city They did not decline as he grew, but FLourshed at each stage with new authority and power He was always highly conscious o his body, vain about its inuence. He would speak o hs buty as his amazing good ortune, and his windall rom the gods (27A But this was not the limit o his natural gits nergy and intellectual power had made him one o the best commanders and strategists thens had Known, one o the most skillfl orators ever to enchant her people In both careers his genius was his keen eye or the situation - the way he could disce the salient eatures o the partcular case and boldly select appropriate action bout all these gis he was equally vain yet also almost morbidly conceed with criticism and gossip He loved to be loved He hated to be observed skinned, discovered. His hrt, generous and volatile, was rapidly moved to both love and anger, at once changeable and tenacious He was, then, a man o great resources who made deep emands on the world, both emotional and intellectual; and he did what resource and courage could to guartee success. What else? He haed uteplaying, and the uteplaying satyr Marsyas He laughed, he staged jokes a the expense o enemies, o lovers at his own He once arranged or a suitor o his, a resident alien, to win the bid or the local tax receipts, to the great discomture o local suitors and taxarmers . When he wanted to win something, he took no chances He entered seven chariots at Olympia and walked o with rst, second, and ourth priZes He once sliced o the tail o his own dog, saying, I am quite content or the whole o thens to chatter about this It will stop them rom saying any worse about me . He nanced extravagant spectacles The people never had enough o him he was their darling, their young lion . Those who hated democratic disorder hated him as its inspiration .. Once he invited a philosopher to dnner and told him the truth about a particular soul . He betrayed two cities. He said ove o city is what I do not eel when I am wronged. It is what I elt when I went about my political _ 166 Plato: goodnes withoLt fragIT? business in safety.' . , One night he went for a walk through the streets of Athens and defaced the statues of the gods smashing genitals and faces The philosopher he Loved looked like a snub-nosed Silenus as he Lay on the bed beside him aloof and selfcontained like one of those toy SiLeni you open up to see the shining...
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This note was uploaded on 09/08/2010 for the course ASIA 70B at San Jose State.