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Symposium (Oxford World's Classics) [Paperback]

Plato , Robin Waterfield
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
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Book Description

11 Sep 2008 Oxford World's Classics
In his celebrated masterpiece, Symposium, Plato imagines a high-society dinner-party in Athens in 416 BC at which the guests - including the comic poet Aristophanes and, of course, Plato's mentor Socrates - each deliver a short speech in praise of love. The sequence of dazzling speeches culminates in Socrates' famous account of the views of Diotima, a prophetess who taught him that love is our means of trying to attain goodness. And then into the party bursts the drunken Alcibiades, the most popular and notorious Athenian of the time, who insists on praising Socrates himself rather than love, and gives us a brilliant sketch of this enigmatic character. The power, humour, and pathos of Plato's creation engages the reader on every page. This new translation is complemented by full explanatory notes and an illuminating introduction. ABOUT THE SERIES: For over 100 years Oxford World's Classics has made available the widest range of literature from around the globe. Each affordable volume reflects Oxford's commitment to scholarship, providing the most accurate text plus a wealth of other valuable features, including expert introductions by leading authorities, helpful notes to clarify the text, up-to-date bibliographies for further study, and much more.

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Product details

  • Paperback: 160 pages
  • Publisher: Oxford Paperbacks (11 Sep 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0199540195
  • ISBN-13: 978-0199540198
  • Product Dimensions: 19 x 12.7 x 1 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 93,679 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Plato (c. 427-347 BC), was an Athenian philosopher-dramatist. Born into a wealthy and prominent family, he grew up during the conflict between Athens and the Peloponnesian states which engulfed the Greek world from 431 to 404 BC. Following its turbulent aftermath, he was deeply affected by the condemnation and execution of his revered master Socrates (469-399) on charges of irreligion and corrupting the young. In revulsion from political activity, Plato devoted his life to the pursuit of philosophy. Plato founded the Academy, an early ancestor of the modern university, devoted to philosophical and mathematical enquiry, and to the education of future rulers or 'philosopher-kings'. The Academy's most celebrated member was the young Aristotle (384-322), who studied there for the last twenty years of Plato's life. Their works mark the highest peak of philosophical achievement in antiquity, and both continue to rank among the greatest philosophers of all time.

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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
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6 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Plato on love and sex 4 May 2010
By Roman Clodia TOP 100 REVIEWER
If the thought of reading a fourth century BCE Greek philosopher fills you with dread, then this is an ideal antidote. Written in PLato's characteristic dialogue form, this depicts a typical Greek symposium, all male of course, and replicates the after-dinner chat about love, sex, lust and everything in between.

Accessible and very funny in parts (Aristophanes' speeches, for example, or Alcibiades' drunken entrance) this also has a more serious subtext. This is more or less the handbook for the Renaissance neoplatonism in which the pursuit of beauty is the soul's search for ultimate goodness.

But even if you're not interested in the philosophy, this is amazingly accessible and redolent of C4th Athenian culture.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4.8 out of 5 stars  4 reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Good translation, good notes 13 April 2014
By Paul Giurlanda - Published on
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
The Symposium is what it is: a classic of western culture. So, when one offers a review, it's not about the text itself (I think) but for the translation, presentation and notes. So: Wakefield's translation is the smoothest I've read of this great text. His modern English makes the homoerotic context of the dialogue clear, for one thing. I've taught this text to sleepy undergrads who were clueless about the terms "lover" and "beloved" in the speeches, assuming they were about a boy and a girl. But the notes are where Wakefield really shines. Wakefield gives not only a readable account of each of the speeches, a special discussion of love in Greek thought, and a literary analysis, but also a useful set of notes at the end. Over all, this is so much better than the tired British translations we used to read in college back in the old days.
0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A classic novel to have on the bookshelves and a quick read too! 27 Nov 2013
By Jake Malott - Published on
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Classic Novel. My professor pointed out Plato's skill of creating different voices for each character...something not many authors can do. In fact, it is said he was able to capture the communicative style of each individuals real persona.
0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Plato textbook. 1 Sep 2013
By John Schwindt - Published on
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This is actually a primary's source, not textbook. It got to me fast, and in good shape. Now time to go read some platonic dialogue
0 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great book, great price. 12 Mar 2013
By Ali K - Published on
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
The book itself is great. I love it. The cost was very reasonable. I bought it used, but when it came in, I could have sworn it was new. It even shipped earlier than expected. Great buy!
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