SymposiumClassNotes - Plato, The Symposium The first line...

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Plato, The Symposium The first line “In fact, your question does not find me unprepared,” does find us unprepared. We don’t know what the question is or who is asking we’ve no sense where we are. This is meant to disorient – just like a Dionysian rite. Forbidden knowledge – the inquirer can’t ask Socrates about the party directly, which means this is not part of the education that Socrates would give him. When asked if Socrates informed him of the party directly, for example, Apollodorus claims, “Of, for god’s sake, of course not!” The party, however, took place when they “were children” – although it isn’t what S would teach him, it is his inheritance. Socrates is in disguise, having bathed and wearing clean clothes and shoes. Even in the narrative, there seems to be something dangerous about this party. Remember that Apollodorus is speaking in front of a ruined city. Socrates, furthermore, is lost in thought and refuses to go ahead until he’s finished thinking through a problem. He indicates that for some reason, he cannot arrive unprepared. Agathon has Socrates lie next to him so he might catch some of his wisdom – he can see that Socrates “has seen the light”! Socrates’s arrival is as one who can see – we know Agathon thus far by his professed lack of vision – he couldn’t find Aristodemus, he doesn’t watch his servants and now he wishes for Socrates’s vision. Under the direction of Eryximachus, the flute girl (who symbolizes lust) and the
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This note was uploaded on 12/20/2010 for the course POLI SCI 365 taught by Professor Buzby during the Spring '10 term at Rutgers.

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SymposiumClassNotes - Plato, The Symposium The first line...

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