Kotlarz 297 words
Dramatic Detail & Philosophical Dialogue in
The most important narrative details in Plato’s Symposium concern Socrates. Along the
way to the symposium Socrates fell behind, absorbed in his own thought. He was
later found on a neighbor’s porch, ignoring requests for his presence inside.
Aristodemus describes Socrates saying, “It’s a habit of his. Every now and then
he wanders off and stands for hours in a solitary trance… its just better to
leave him” (5). Here we see Socrates pondering in his love of philosophy. Once
Socrates comes inside, he is immediately in discussion about wisdom. Agathon
wants Socrates to join him on the couch to share in the wisdom that came to him
on the porch. Socrates mocks Agathon eluding that he will gain wisdom from him.
Agathon responds by challenging Socrates to a competition of wisdom. These
details are essential to Socrates character; He is often found lost in his own
thoughts. When he joins others, they are excited to hear what he has to say. Others
aspire to learn from Socrates.
Plato prepares us to enter a philosophical dialogue on
the topic of love. However, these will not be casual conversations among men,
but praises of love for the purpose of winning a competition. Eryximachus is
the first to suggest engaging in conversation rather than being entertained by
the flute-girl. He then asserts that all of the guests at the symposium present
the finest speech he can, in praise of love. As Plato states, he will only
convey the speeches most worth remembering (7). Since all men will be sharing
different examples of love, this can open up to philosophical discussions in
relation to love and the desires that come with love.