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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Love love love, 23 April 2010
By 
Sam Quixote - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
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This review is from: The Symposium (Penguin Great Ideas) (Mass Market Paperback)
I'm not a philosophy or ancient history student, I picked up Plato's "Symposium" to challenge myself and see if I could understand it. The "Symposium" is a gathering of Greek thinkers who sit around and give speeches about love.

Phaedrus talks about the greatness of love and how those who have it achieve great things. Pausanias talks of the merits of boy/man love where the boy pleasures the man while the man passes on his wisdom to the boy and that this is the best kind of love, not the lesser lover of procreation between man and woman. Eryximachus talks about how love is the source of all happiness. Aristophanes talks about how once upon a time there was no man or woman but a single human who had both sexes' characteristics. These creatures tried to scale the heavens and so Zeus cut them in half and ever since then man and woman have sought to create that single creature again. Socrates talks about his teacher Diotima and how she taught him that love was the only way human beings could be immortal.

"The Symposium" is a short read not to be rushed as there are some fascinating ideas here. Not new ones though but ones that have influenced western culture and thought for centuries. Aristophanes' and Diotima's especially are ideas I've come across before but didn't know they originated in this text. It's also very pro-pederasty which I thought was amusing and can see why some people might have thought Plato was a closet homosexual. Those Greeks certainly were liberated though.

It's an accesible and interesting little book though this Penguin Great Ideas edition features no notes, contextual history, introduction, glossary, reading list, etc which the Penguin Classics edition does so if you're studying this text I'd get that edition rather than this one.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Memories ..., 20 Feb. 2014
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Starwalker (Old Warden, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Symposium (Penguin Great Ideas) (Mass Market Paperback)
.... of studying this at university! But somehow, I was too young to 'get it', I think! I heard a radio programme featuring 'The Symposium', and I was immediately hooked and had to re-explore it. What a delight, and how relevant in the context of today's re-defining of boundaries and expectations in relationships. A must read for anyone who is contemplating this theme in their life.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A Great Work of Philosophy, 25 Jan. 2013
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This review is from: The Symposium (Penguin Great Ideas) (Mass Market Paperback)
I read 'Republic' before reading Plato's 'Symposium', and so I was pleasantly surprised when I realised how manageable it was. It's size is deceiving though, as this Platonic dialogue is just as thought-provoking as his other works. I don't formally study philosophy and never have; it's great for the "lay reader".
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5.0 out of 5 stars Classic!, 24 May 2013
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This review is from: The Symposium (Penguin Great Ideas) (Mass Market Paperback)
I first read this book in college and gave it to my boyfriend for Christmas. It has stood the test of time!
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5.0 out of 5 stars Good, 17 Mar. 2013
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This review is from: The Symposium (Paperback)
This is a really good book, it helped a lot when it came to my degree. Fast delivery which was really nice.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Grand, 18 Oct. 2014
This review is from: The Symposium (Penguin Great Ideas) (Mass Market Paperback)
Strange cover, almost enigmatic. One of a great collection of books (penguins great ideas)
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5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars, 30 Mar. 2015
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This review is from: The Symposium (Penguin Great Ideas) (Mass Market Paperback)
Best definition of love ever!!!!
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4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars, 3 Jun. 2015
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Love this stuff
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5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars, 1 Jan. 2015
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This review is from: The Symposium (Penguin Great Ideas) (Mass Market Paperback)
Great book
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Interesting nevertheless, 28 Sept. 2014
By 
Simon Jepps "Sorcerer" (England) - See all my reviews
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Entertaining for sure but somewhat disappointed with the "campness" which results from ancient society and language. Otherwise an interesting read.
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The Symposium (Penguin Great Ideas)
The Symposium (Penguin Great Ideas) by Plato (Mass Market Paperback - 25 Aug. 2005)
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