In the Gorgias dialogue, Socrates travels with his friend and follower, Chaerephon, to the house of Callicles, whose name means "famed for visible excellence". At Callicles's house a distinguished guest and self-proclaimed rhetorician from Sicily named Gorgias resides, along with his follower, Polus. Callicles, the host, is important to the dialogue because he is also a … Continue reading Thoughts On The Gorgias
Plato’s famous dialogue, the Symposium, takes place the day after the tragic poet, Agathon, wins his first and only award at the Lenaia in 416 BC, the year before Alcibiades’s failed quest to Sicily. The dramatic setting occurs among a group of Athenians gathered at Agathon’s house in Athens to celebrate his victory. The party is … Continue reading What is Love in the Symposium?
The plan for The Symposium comes from Erixymachus, the physician, who shares his opinion that each of the attendees, starting on the left, should recite the fairest praise of Eros. This idea originates with Phaedrus who claims that Eros has never been properly praised. Socrates agrees, stating that no one would disagree with him, and Phaedrus begins. … Continue reading The Symposium I: Phaedrus
Often in ancient Greek tragedy we find protagonists committing the sin of hubris (extreme pride or arrogance). Recall in Aeschylus's Agamemnon that Agamemnon returns home with a stolen concubine from Ilium, and also he fails to foresee the extent to which Clytemnestra holds a grudge against his decision to sacrifice Iphigenia. In another case, consider the … Continue reading Oedipus and Greek Tragedy
Agamemnon, the first play of the Oresteia trilogy begins much like other great plays, such as Hamlet, on the walls of the city with a a lone watchman who bemoans the state of affairs, waiting for a light showing that Agamemnon, his king, is returning home from the Trojan War. Upon spotting the foreboding beacon, he … Continue reading Thoughts on Aeschylus
At the outset of Plato's Euthyphro, the pious Euthyphro is astonished to find Socrates at the Archon's judicial court rather than hanging around the Lyceum where he usually spends his days. Socrates explains that he is being indicted by a young and unknown man named Meletus who claims Socrates is corrupting the youth by not … Continue reading Notes On Plato’s Euthyphro