Symposium | Study Guide


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Symposium | Infographic

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Check out this Infographic to learn more about Plato's Symposium. Study visually with character maps, plot summaries, helpful context, and more.

symposium-platoEryximachushe body of every creature on earth is pervaded by Love.Sources: Encyclopaedia Britannica,, Internet Encyclopedia of PhilosophyCopyright © 2017 Course Hero, Inc.SatyrHalf-man, half-goat creature to which Alcibiades likens SocratesSymposiumRitualized drinking party held by the classical Athenian eliteKey TermsErosClassical Greek word for love, personified as a winged godWily, brilliant Athenian general and statesman; loves and admires SocratesAlcibiadesFather of Western philosophy and a guest at the symposium; mentor to AlcibiadesSocratesPriestess; taught Socrates everything he knows about love—or so he claimsDiotimaComic playwright; describes the origins of love in an elaborate fableAristophanesMain CharactersA student of Socrates, who never wrote down his thoughts, the Greek philosopher Plato is known for writing dozens of literary dialogues on subjects as diverse as love and politics. In later life Plato founded the Academy, a school of philosophy that influenced Athenian intellectual culture for generations.PLATOC. 429–347 BCEAuthorFor true philosophers, love is an ascent to ever-greater forms of beauty.Ladder of LoveLove, Socrates suggests, is a rebellion against the constraints of mortal life.Love & ImmortalityMany of the symposium guests attempt to divide love into categories.Varieties of LoveLets Talk about LoveMAIN IDEASPlatos Symposium imagines a social gathering of famous Athenians, with Socrates as the groups unofficial leader. Their witty, wine-fueled conversation focuses on the theme of love: what it is, where it comes from, and how it affects people in day-to-day life.Ancient GreekOriginal Languagec. 380–360 BCEYears WrittenPlatoAuthorSymposiumPhilosophyNonfiction

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