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Platons Gastmahl

Platons Gastmahl

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Platons Gastmahl

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3.5/5 (18 Bewertungen)
Länge:
95 Seiten
1 Stunde
Herausgeber:
Freigegeben:
1. Jan. 1951
Format:
Buch

Herausgeber:
Freigegeben:
1. Jan. 1951
Format:
Buch

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Platons Gastmahl - Rudolf Kassner

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Title: Platons Gastmahl

Author: Plato

Translator: Rudolf Kassner

Release Date: March 23, 2008 [EBook #24899]

Language: German

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MEDIUM TE MUNDI POSUI, UT CIRCUMSPICERES INDE COMMODIUS QUIDQUID EST IN MUNDO · NEC TE CŒLESTEM NECQUE TERRENUM NECQUE MORTALEM NECQUE IMMORTALEM FECIMUS, UT TUI IPSIUS QUASI ARBITRARIUS HONORARIUSQUE PLASTES ET FICTOR IN QUAM MALUERIS TU TE FORMAM EFFINGAS · POTERIS IN INFERIORA QUAE SUNT BRUTA DEGENERARE, POTERIS IN SUPERIORA QUAE SUNT DIVINA EX TUI ANIMI SENTENTIA REGENERARI · O SUMMAM DEI PATRIS LIBERALITATEM, SUMMAM ET ADMIRANDAM HOMINIS FŒLICITATEM · PICO DI MIRANDOLA „ORATIO"

PLATONS GASTMAHL

22.–26. TAUSEND

VERDEUTSCHT VON RUDOLF KASSNER

VERLEGT BEI EUGEN DIEDERICHS

JENA 1922

FRAU

E. BRUCKMANN-CANTACUZENE

GEWIDMET

ALLE RECHTE, INSBESONDERE DAS DER ÜBERSETZUNG

IN FREMDE SPRACHEN, VORBEHALTEN. COPYRIGHT 1922

BY EUGEN DIEDERICHS VERLAG IN JENA

Apollodoros: „O ja, darüber bin ich ziemlich unterrichtet. Erst neulich, da ich von Phaleron nach der Stadt gehe, sieht mich von rückwärts einer meiner Bekannten und ruft mir nach: „Apollodoros, Apollodoros von Phaleron – er scherzt immer mit meinem Namen – „so warte doch! Ich bleibe nun stehen und warte auf ihn, und da sagt er mir denn: „Ich habe dich schon unlängst gesucht, ich möchte nämlich so gerne etwas über das Gastmahl des Agathon erfahren, ich meine jenes, an dem Sokrates, Alkibiades und noch viele andere teilgenommen und bei dem sie über Eros gesprochen haben. Was sprachen sie damals alles, weißt du näheres? Mir hat schon jemand davon erzählt, der es von Phoinix, dem Sohne des Philippos, gehört hatte, und dieser sagte mir, auch du wüßtest näheres darüber. In der Tat, er konnte mir nicht gerade viel sagen, erzähle du mir nun davon! Denn niemand ist so dafür geschaffen wie du, die Worte unseres großen Freundes zu künden. Zuerst aber sage noch schnell: warst du selbst bei dem Gastmahl zugegen? Ja? Darauf erwidere ich ihm gleich: „Dein Freund muß dich wirklich schlecht unterrichtet haben, wenn er meint, das Gastmahl, um das du mich fragst, hätte erst vor kurzem stattgefunden und ich selbst hätte daran teilgenommen! „Nicht? Ich dachte! „Aber mein lieber Glaukon, fuhr ich fort, „weißt du denn nicht, daß Agathon seit vielen Jahren schon die Stadt verlassen hat? Und dann – seitdem ich um Sokrates bin, seitdem ich täglich, ich sage täglich ganz genau weiß, was Sokrates spricht und was Sokrates tut, sind noch nicht drei Jahre vergangen. Früher, ach früher! – da lief ich so herum, ohne zu wissen wohin, und tat geschäftig und war doch so jämmerlich wie nur irgend jemand, so jämmerlich wie du jetzt, Glaukon, der du noch immer glaubst, man dürfe um keinen Preis denken, nur nicht denken."

„Bitte, mache dich nicht über mich lustig, sagt mein Freund, „sage lieber, wann hat das Gastmahl also stattgefunden?

„Wir waren noch Kinder, Agathon hatte mit seiner ersten Tragödie gesiegt und mit seinen Choreuten den Sieg gefeiert, den Tag darauf nun da hat das Gastmahl stattgefunden!"

„Das ist allerdings schon lange her. Aber von wem weißt du das alles? fragte Glaukon weiter. „Von Sokrates selbst?

„Ach Gott, nein, nein! Von ebendemselben, von dem Phoinix es gehört hat: von Aristodemos aus Kythäron, vom kleinen Aristodemos, der immer wie der Meister ohne Sandalen herumlief. Er war dabei; ich glaube, seine Beziehungen zu Sokrates waren ganz besonders innige. Später habe ich noch Sokrates selbst um einiges gefragt, und Sokrates bestätigte, es sei alles so gewesen, wie Aristodemos es mir geschildert hat."

„Gut, gut, so erzähle du mir jetzt nun alles! drang Glaukon weiter. „Wir gehen beide in die Stadt, und auf dem Wege kann man so gut reden und zuhören!

Nun, so gingen wir beide zusammen nach der Stadt und sprachen darüber; ich bin also, wie gesagt, vorbereitet. Und wenn es sein muß, so will ich auch euch alles erzählen. Aufrichtig, ich freue mich jedesmal unbändig, wenn ich entweder selbst über Philosophie sprechen oder davon hören darf. Von der Förderung, die ich dadurch erfahre, rede ich erst gar nicht. Über das, was man so den Tag über schwatzt, was ihr Reichen und Krämer zusammenschwatzt, ärgere ich mich doch nur; ja ich bemitleide euch, denn ihr glaubt immer, weiß Gott was zu tun und kommt doch nicht weiter. Vielleicht werdet ihr euerseits wieder mich bemitleiden, vielleicht habt ihr recht, ja, ich bin bemitleidenswert, ja! Aber ihr, meine Lieben, seid es in einem ganz anderen Sinne, und ihr seid es nicht nur vielleicht, ihr seid es bestimmt, das weiß ich."

Der Freund: „Apollodoros, du bleibst der Alte! Immer schmähst du dich selbst und die Welt und hältst, mit dir angefangen, alle einfach für bemitleidenswert; Sokrates allein ist deine Ausnahme. Ich weiß zwar nicht, woher du den Beinamen „der Tolle hast, aber, so oft du sprichst, bist du wirklich wie toll. Du haderst mit dir selbst und den andern, nur Sokrates, Sokrates bleibt von deiner Wut verschont!

Apollodoros: „Mein lieber Freund, es ist wohl nur zu natürlich, daß ich toll und rasend erscheine, da ich nun einmal so über mich und euch denke!"

Der Freund: „Streiten wir jetzt nicht darüber! Tue das, worum wir dich gebeten haben, und erzähle uns vom Gastmahl!"

Apollodoros: „Am Gastmahl nahmen teil … Doch nein, ich will lieber gleich von Anfang an es so erzählen, wie ich es von Aristodemos gehört habe. Aristodemos erzählte also: er wäre eines Abends Sokrates begegnet, und Sokrates hätte gerade gebadet gehabt und, was selten vorkommt, Sandalen getragen. Auf die Frage, wohin er denn so geputzt ginge, hätte Sokrates geantwortet: „Zu Agathon, zu einem Gastmahl! Gestern bin ich noch der Siegesfeier entgangen – ich mag den Lärm nicht – ich habe aber versprochen, heute zu kommen. Und so habe ich mich denn schön gemacht, damit auch ich „schön vor den Schönen trete. Aber du, wie denkst du darüber, ungeladen mitzugehen? „Ja, wenn du glaubst … hätte er geantwortet. „So komm nur mit! Wir können ja das Sprichwort drehen und sagen: Zum Mahle des Guten kommen ungeladen die Guten! Homer dreht es nicht nur um, sondern hält sich überhaupt nicht daran: Agamemnon ist sein bester Soldat, und Menelaos ist, wie sagt er doch, Menelaos ist ein verwöhnter Speerschütze. Doch da Agamemnon das Opfer feiert, kommt Menelaos ungeladen zum Opfermahle, du siehst, der Schlechtere kommt hier zum Mahle des Besseren. „Ich fürchte, hätte Aristodemos eingewendet, „ich fürchte, Sokrates, du schmeichelst mir, wenn du das Sprichwort in deinem Sinne drehst; ich bin wohl eher im Sinne Homers der arme Schlucker und gehe ungeladen zum Mahle des Weisen und Edlen! Sieh nur zu, wie du mich dort entschuldigen wirst; ich will durchaus nicht ungeladen kommen, ich betrachte mich von dir geladen! „Während wir zusammen gehen, können wir ja überlegen, was wir anführen werden.

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  • (2/5)
    Delightful and entertaining, a good inspiration for your own party, but also fuck Plato.
  • (3/5)
    And Agathon said, It is probable, Socrates, that I knew nothing of what I had said.
    And yet spoke you beautifully, Agathon, he said.


    Back in the late 1990s a cowpunk band named The Meat Purveyors had a song, Why Does There Have To Be A Morning After? It detailed stumbling around in the cruel light of day, sipping on backwash beer from the night before and attempting to reconstruct what at best remains a blur.

    The event depicted here is a hungover quest for certainty. The old hands in Athens have been tippling. Socrates is invited to the day after buffet. The Symposium attempts to explore the Praise for Love which occupies such a crucial yet chaotic corner of our earthly ways. There is ceremonial hemming-and-hawing about the sublime and then Socrates steps into the fray. All is vanity, Love is a bastard child of Poverty: the attempts at the Ininite and Eternal only reflect poorly on our scrawny and fleeting tenure.
  • (2/5)
    (Original Review, 2003-03-02)The problem for me is that philosophy is surely about ideas which are themselves constructed out of language. Dinosaurs, or evidence for them in the fossil record, are not linguistic constructs - but philosophical ideas would seem to be.I don't mean that ideas themselves are entirely linguistic. I can have ideas that involve non-linguistic elements - for example I can mention a landscape that I could never fully describe in all its visual richness - and which there would not be words to sufficiently describe even if I had an eternity to do so (though that is arguable come to think of it, as assemblages of pixels can describe extraordinarily rich visual scenes - sorry bit of a side track).I don't even mean that philosophical concepts have to be made of language. It may well be possible to conceptualise ideas beyond the constraints of language and, as it happens, I think we can do that. The problem is, of course, that once you try to communicate any such ideas to anyone else you have to reduce them down to linguistic constructs (or perhaps logical constructs but I would say that logic and maths are languages too, albeit, like French, not languages that I am at all fluent in).It goes back to things like your "moral facts" which intrigue me but, so far, I am just not convinced of it. Dinosaur fossils sure - facts. You can poke them with a stick, measure them and compare them to other fossils etc. Moral facts, they don't seem to be solid enough to have convinced Plato of the wrongness of slavery.I find this sort of reasoning from "moral facts" problematic. It comes down to how Plato and Aristotle might have defined an "inferior person". For much of human history, and certainly for Plato's contemporaries, "inferior" might simply mean "from a tribe that was defeated in battle". Military success thus defines superiority. What fact could be used to show that this view is false?
  • (4/5)
    It is not easy to review Plato when I have no claim whatsoever to being schooled in philosophy, so I will speak in generalities and leave the analysis to others. First let me once again sing the praises of Robin Waterfield whose guidance through Plato's Republic and Gorgias I would term essential. While other editions of these three dialogues were at hand, Waterfield's stands head and shoulders above the others, for he has a gift for making the dialogues and the characters in them come alive so that the whole experience is more like reading a novel than a work of philosophy. According to Benjamin Jowett, "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 . . . more than the author himself knew." This may seem a bit overblown, but there is certainly more than meets the eye of the uninitiated reader if Waterfield's introduction and notes are any indication. Symposium is quite literally a third-hand account of a banquet that was given by the tragedian Agathon to celebrate the festival prize won by his play the night before. (All of Agathon's work has been lost.) There were many people attending this party, seven of whom delivered after-dinner speeches on the subject of "Love." Love in this dialogue is both treated philosophically and personified as a god. Three of the speakers are well known to us: Socrates of course, comic playwright Aristophanes and the political leader Alcibiades. The host Agathon also spoke, along with Phaedrus, Pausanias and Euryximachus. Probably more apparent in Greek than in English translation, these speeches were noteworthy because each reflected a different literary or rhetorical style and each approached the subject of Love from a different angle.After all the speeches were given honoring Love in one way or another, and in which Love was recognized as being both attractive and good, the real philosophizing began. Love and philosophy became more or less identified with each other. And jumping straight to the bottom line, after posing the question, "What do humans gain from Love?" the conclusion was that the object of Love is the permanent possession of goodness for oneself.In the course of all this speechifying and philosophizing, both directly and through Waterfield's contributions one learns a great deal about each of the participants and their relationships with each other and to Athenian society. All in all it is quite an interesting look at the ancient Greek mind at work.
  • (3/5)
    The introduction in this one goes completely off the rails when it starts getting into homoromantic relationships, which is simultaneously hilarious and offputting. Fully a third of the introduction is dedicated to explaining that Plato didn't *really* mean that men loved each other like that, and if he did that doesn't mean it really happened like that, and if it did that doesn't mean that the Greeks were not good, manly men. (Never mind that Plato makes a point of arguing with Aeschylus over whether Achilles was a top or a bottom.)A treatise on the nature and purposes of love; not my favorite subject, to be sure, but still interesting enough. I like the structure of several people talking around the point and one tying it all together; this seems like the most useful way to address such a massive and amorphous subject. I do quite like the conceit of Love as the messenger and mediator between gods and mortals. If you believe the prudish introduction, the rest of it is mostly leading toward the Platonic ideal of beauty, with a perverted comic bit tacked on the end, but I'm inclined not to believe the introduction, and to consider the comic bit something of an illustration of Socrates's earlier points, which is rather neatly done.
  • (3/5)
    Some guys get together over a few drinks and discuss the nature of love.
  • (5/5)
    Foundational to the mythos and language of Islamic mysticism (especially Rumi's Sufism). Philosophy as poetry as dialogue.
  • (5/5)
    A lively, clear and readable translation with notes and an introduction that are more than just by the numbers. Gill's particularly good at explaining the linguistic and broader cultural differences that can impair your understanding. There are also good references for readers who want to explore the deeper philosophical implications of the dialogue. I wholeheartedly recommend this edition for the lay reader, who, like me, is on their first or second reading.
  • (4/5)
    So Plato, the pillar of philosophy in Western Civilization, is an enthusiastic pederast, a lover of boys. Nothing subtle here.
  • (4/5)
    This is a book you can read in one sitting, a short but highly amusing work; I would love to see this enacted into a play. The humor is it's strong point, more so than the philosophy aspect. While the different takes on love (it's about harmony, or it's about becoming whole, or it's the animating force of the universe, and so on) is interesting it seems to get overshadowed by the humor. It's very odd to see this style after reading other things like The Republic and The Meno, and thus I think it's very unique and worth your time.
  • (4/5)
    This one is soooo much fun.
  • (5/5)
    Beautiful Folio Society edition. More interesting to me as a testament to Greek leisure culture than philosophy, and always with slaves present around the edges.
  • (4/5)
    The arguments are interesting and important; the drama is hilarious.
  • (5/5)
    When I was a young man, I and my friends certainly had some strange conversations, possibly aided by some substances of questionable legality in certain countries, but we never quite managed to attain the heights of strangeness reached at this banquet/drinking party(*) held in 416 BCE when Socrates was approximately 53 years old, once again the principal figure in this "dialogue" written by Plato between 12 and 15 years after Socrates' death by poisoning in 399 BCE. Plato was 11 years old when the banquet took place, so, as in Crito and Phaedo , all the speeches are Plato's invention, though he may well have listened to stories about the banquet from participants. The general topic of the speeches: love in all of its forms.Each of the participants in the banquet is, in turn, to deliver a speech about Love. And deliver they do...Eryximachus, first up to bat, laments that so little poetry has been dedicated to the topic of Love. Phaedrus, in honorable Greek tradition, reaches into the past and recalls what Hesiod and Parmenides, among others, had to say. Love is the eldest and most beneficent of the gods. Then he launches into an explanation why the love between men fosters and supports honor and virtuous behavior. (A common theme at this banquet, which makes me wonder why the Christians permitted this text to survive. Thank goodness the Christian crusade against "sodomy" is ebbing into impotence.) Phaedrus unfavorably contrasts Orpheus' love for his wife with Achilles' love for Patroclus (and can't resist asserting that Achilles was the bottom, not Patroclus, because he was the fairer, beardless and younger; he doesn't use "bottom", but in the Greco-Roman world, those are the attributes of the "passive" partner in a homosexual relationship - I've heard some conversations like this at drunken parties, but Achilles usually wasn't the subject of the gossip). Pausanias then holds forth on the distinction between noble Love, expressed for youths who are "beginning to grow their beards", and common Love, whose object is women and boys. (At this point I'd be wondering if somebody had slipped something into the wine. But I'd be listening closely.) He gives a lengthy and closely reasoned moral argument in favor of this. I wonder how it would go over in the House of Representatives? Eryximachus, in a return engagement, is a physician and reinterprets Pausanias' moral distinctions in terms of the concepts of "healthy" and "diseased". In a process of what appears to be free association (was Plato smirking while he was writing this?), the good doctor throws in music, agriculture, astronomy, divination (OK, pass the blunt over here again), ... . Finally, he turns the floor over to the playwright Aristophanes, who clearly had brought his private stash to the party. For he commences to explain that originally mankind had three sexes. Moreover, primeval man was round, had four hands and feet, two faces on one head, etc. etc. In his LSD dream, this primeval man was so powerful that Zeus was envious and smote primeval man in twain. With some cosmetic work by Apollo, which is described in fascinating detail, and after a few false starts, voilà , mankind as we know it. Which explains, of course, why we are always looking for our other half. Instead of being helped away to a sanatorium, Aristophanes goes on to explain how the original three sexes of primeval man fit into the picture. Enjoy! I know I did.After this gobsmackingly strange speech (which would have had me trying to figure out where he hid his stash), the boys engage in some good natured banter, and then Agathon takes the floor. He makes a bad start, and then it goes downhill from there. Let's just say that Love had better not drop the soap in the shower when Agathon is around. (I know Plato was laughing up his sleeve on this one.)Now it is The Man's turn - Socrates steps to the plate. He goes into his usual "Ah, shucks" routine and then starts asking Agathon questions. Please see my review of Plato's Phaedo to see how that goes. After Agathon agrees with everything Socrates says, Socrates launches into a long story, the upshot of which is: the only true love is Love of the Absolute! (This sounds more like Plato than Socrates, but no surprise there.)Upon which Alcibiades comes staggering into the room. After a brief argument with Socrates about which of the two has the greater hots for the other, Alcibiades stumbles up to the plate. He sings the praises of Socrates' virtue, nobility, fortitude and pedagogy. This speech, if authentic, is one of the most detailed glimpses into Socrates' life we have and is fascinating. As literature, Plato really surpassed himself in this dialogue - even the weakest speeches (from the point of view of content and wit) were most savorously eloquent. And all were entertaining, each in a very distinct way. While I personally find Plato's physics, metaphysics and epistemology to be absurd and his politics to be frightening, the man could turn a phrase and draw a convincing characterization through speech. While I am completely unconvinced by claims that the Symposium can be viewed as a novel, one can, nonetheless, read it with great pleasure as a purely literary product.By the way, is any of that wine left?(Re-read in Benjamin Jowett's translation.)(*) A possibly amusing sidenote: The participants take a vote and decide "that drinking is to be voluntary, and that there is to be no compulsion" (they decided this only because so many of them were hung over from the previous evening!). One pauses at the idea that some of the brightest lights of Western culture comported themselves in their middle age like frat boys on a Saturday night... One of Socrates' many reported virtues was he could drink everybody else under the table and walk away into the dawn perfectly sober.
  • (4/5)
    Starts out slow, with mostly irrelevant speeches on the nature of Love. The first half or so is remarkable just for the interesting description it gives of Ancient Greek homosexual practices. It gets much more interesting once Socrates takes the floor, immediately ripping the false rhetoric of the hypocritical sophists in favor of Truth. His theory of love is interesting but is not at all what we think of as romantic love. . . it is more like love of truth/beauty/god and culminates in a mystical nirvana-like experience for the true lovers. The most interesting part of the dialogue comes at the very end, when the drunken Alcibiades crashes the party and gives a speech on Socrates, which is far more revealing of Socrates the Man than any other Platonic dialogue I've ever read. Regardless of what you think of this dialogue overall, I think it´s worth the read just for the last few pages of historical description. And regardless of how you feel about Plato perverting Socrates' teachings for his own political purposes, the Symposium proves that he truly admired his mentor as possibly the greatest man who had ever lived.
  • (3/5)
    Plato’s Symposium is essentially a love story. The general outline is that a group of Greek thinkers are gathered together to a symposium by the poet Agathon to celebrate his recent victory in a dramatic competition. Phaedrus (an aristocrat), Pausanius (some sort of lawyer), Eryximachus (a doctor), Aristophanes (a comedian), Agathon, Socrates, and Alcibiades (a statesman) then take turns discussing the nature and types of love. They each offer valid perspectives on the topic while trying to surpass each other in the quality of their rhetoric (and trying to ward off a hangover from the previous night’s drinking). Socrates gets the upper hand quickly by undermining—piece-by-piece—each of their arguments about the nature of Love.Along with each of the speeches we get small insights into how gatherings were conducted in ancient Greece, and how different members of the social fabric interacted (it’s also nice to see that the methods for curing hiccups hasn’t changed in the last 3,000 years). Plato, being a student of Socrates, gives him a better part in the exchange than the others there, but I’m not sure I would want to attend a gathering with the man. The way he employs his Socratic dialogue easily paints him as being “that guy.” Nobody wants to be “that guy.” As far as the writing, Benjamin Jowett’s (1817-1893) translation of Plato’s treatise was published in the late 19th century and still holds up rather well. It’s only flowery in the intro (which takes up a third of this book), but then settles down when you get to the good stuff. All in all, not bad but not riveting either.
  • (4/5)
    I was unprepared for how funny this book is. A group of friends extremely hung over from the previous night's partying decide that tonight, instead of going all out to get drunk again, they would send away the flute girl, drink in moderation and each would make a speech on the topic of love. Socrates makes the most profound speech but no sooner has be finished when the party is crashed by another band of drunken revellers and the extremely inebriated Alcibiades joins the party. Requested to add his speech on love, he claims unfairness on account of his state and instead of making a speech in praise of love, he speaks in praise of Socrates.
  • (2/5)
    Rating: 2* of five, all for Aristophanes's way trippy remix of GenesisWhile perusing a review of [Death in Venice] (dreadful tale, yet another fag-must-die-rather-than-love piece of normative propaganda) written by my GoodReads good friend Stephen, he expressed a desire to read The Symposium before he eventually re-reads this crapulous homophobic maundering deathless work of art. As I have read The Symposium with less than stellar results, I warned him off. Well, see below for what happened next.Stephen wrote: "Damn...can you do a quick cliff notes summary or maybe a video lecture? I would much rather take advantage of your previous suffering than have to duplicate it."THE SYMPOSIUMSo this boring poet dude wins some big-ass prize and has a few buds over for a binge. They're all lying around together on couches, which is as promising a start to a story as I can think of, when the boys decide to stay sober (boo!) and debate the Nature of Luuuv.Phaedrus (subject of a previous Socratic dialogue by Plato) gives a nice little speech, dry as a popcorn fart, about how Love is the oldest of the gods and Achilles was younger than Patroclus, and Alcestis died of love for her husband, and some other stuff I don't remember because I was drifting off, so got up to see if I would stay awake better on the patio. It was a little nippy that day.So next up is the lawyer. I know, right? Ask a lawyer to talk about love! Like asking a priest to talk about honor, or a politician to talk about common decency! So he pontificates about pederasty for a while, which made me uncomfortable, so I got up to get some coffee. I may have stopped by the brandy bottle on the way back out, I can't recall.So after the lawyer tells when *exactly* it's okay to pork a teenager, the doctor chimes in that luuuuuv is the drug, it's everything, man, the whole uuuuuuuniiiiiveeeeeeeeeerse is luuuuv. Who knew they had hippies in those days? I needed more brandy, I mean coffee!, and the text of my ancient Penguin paperback was getting smaller and smaller for some reason, so I went to look for the brandy get the magnifying glass so I could see the footnotes.Then comes Aristophanes. Now seriously, this is a good bit. Aristophanes, in Plato's world, tells us why we feel whole, complete, when we're with our true love: Once upon a time, we were all two-bodied and two-souled beings, all male, all female, or hermaphroditic. When these conjoined twins fell into disfavor, Zeus cleaved them apart, and for all eternity to come, those souls will wander the earth seeking the other half torn from us.Now being Aristophanes, Plato plays it for laughs, but this is really the heart of the piece. Plato quite clearly thought this one through, in terms of what makes us humans want and need love. It's a bizarre version of Genesis, don'cha think?So there I was glazed over with brandy-fog admiration for the imagination of this ancient Greek boybanger, and I was about to give up and pass out take my contemplations indoors when the wind, riffling the pages a bit, caused me to light on an interesting line. I continued with the host's speech.Now really...is there anything on this wide green earth more boring than listening to a poet bloviate? Especially about luuuuv? Blah blah noble blah blah youthful yakkity blah brave *snore*Then it's Socrates's turn, and I was hoping Plato gave him some good zingers to make up for the tedium of the preceding sixteen years of my life. I mean, the previous speech. It was a little bit hard to hold the magnifying glass, for some reason, and it kept getting in the way of the brandy bottle. I mean, coffee thermos! COFFEE THERMOS.I'm not all the way sure what Plato had Socrates say, but it wasn't riveting lemme tell ya what. I woke up, I mean came to, ummm that is I resumed full attention when the major studmuffin and hawttie Alcibiades comes in, late and drunk (!), and proceeds to pour out his unrequited lust for (older, uglier) Socrates. He really gets into the nitty-gritty here, talking about worming his way into the old dude's bed and *still* Socrastupid won't play hide the salami.Various noises of incredulity and derision were heard to come from my mouth, I feel sure, though I was a little muzzy by that time, and it is about this point that the brandy bottle COFFEE THERMOS slid to the ground and needed picking up. As I leaned to do so, I remember thinking how lovely and soft the bricks looked.When I woke up under the glass table top, the goddamned magnifying glass had set what remains of the hair on top of my head on fire.The moral of the story is, reading The Symposium should never be undertaken while outdoors.
  • (4/5)
    A thought-provoking and intense yet short read, The Symposium was still far from what I had first anticipated. I had expected the philosophical nature of the piece, however, placing that upon the intricacies of love and homosexuality was shocking and delightful. I wouldn't expect less from Plato, one of the greatest human minds, and am always fascinated by his work. The Symposium is no exception.
  • (5/5)
    this may be where the term 'Platonic relationship' came from being that Socrate's and his old rich attractive Greek buddies love to sit around and talk but not fuck because they know beauty is not especially the opposite of being ugly but it seeks something that the other doesn't have. or is that love? oh love, the talk-about or symposium as it was once called, really shows that love is in the eye of the beholder but Socrates is a man to be loved. I like the hom0-yet-no-homo vibe of it all because I too enjoy the company of men yet strictly in a conversational way although I can apperciate their beauty too. This is as important to the feminine movement as 'The City of Ladies is' for the...what should we call it...androgynous movement? grand!it made me feel like i've never been born and I was having a re-birth while reading it.I'm now androgy thanks to Plato and crew!!!
  • (4/5)
    This is the first book I've read by Plato, and I really enjoyed it. I had to read it for my English class, and I was really surprised at how funny it was. It also gave great insight on the meaning of love and its merits.
  • (4/5)
    Symposium treats us to various philosophies of Love, which are put forward after a dinner party. The final and authoritative speach on the subject is given by Socrates. Plato manages to fit a bit of humor and discreet mockery in too, which makes it all the more entertaining. Translation by Hamilton.
  • (3/5)
    Entertaining and thought-provoking, although it did get a little confusing toward the end.
  • (5/5)
    Greek text with excellent and engaging english translation on facing pages accompanied by amusing engravings