Symposium by Plato

The Search For Truth In Love And Beauty

Platonic literature is famously recorded in the form of the dialogue. Dialogue is the method by which synthesis can occur in its purest form. Plato's contemporaries were fundamentally fearful of writing, which was a new technique at the time, because when compared to dialogue, prose did not offer the possibility for immediate clarification of ideas. Platonic dialectic involved not only the step-by-step creation of ideas that inevitably resulted after a statement; the thesis, antithesis, and synthesis were all created by a person who had bias in presenting these ideas. In prose, this bias cannot be questioned, and everything must be accepted as fact because the author is to be assumed the expert; in dialogue, the backgrounds of the persons involved can be taken into consideration, and the reader is allowed to question the truth and validity of the participants' statements.

Symposium is a prime example of Platonic dialogue. The prologue to the seven discourses on love and beauty immediately identifies the reader as being alarmingly distant from the narration of the story. While Apollodorus tells his companion that he is an expert on the happenings of the intellectual party, he admits that the party took place many years...

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