Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Phaedrus” as Want to Read:
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating


3.9 of 5 stars 3.90  ·  rating details  ·  3,319 ratings  ·  117 reviews
"A superb translation that captures the rhetorical brilliance of the Greek. . . . The translation is faithful in the very best sense: it reflects both the meaning and the beauty of the Greek text. . . . The footnotes are always helpful, never obtrusive. A one-page outline is useful since there are no editorial additions to mark major divisions in the dialogue. An appendix ...more
Paperback, 144 pages
Published March 15th 1995 by Hackett Publishing Company, Inc. (first published January 1st 1956)
more details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Phaedrus, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Phaedrus

The Republic by PlatoThus Spoke Zarathustra by Friedrich NietzscheCritique of Pure Reason by Immanuel KantMeditations by Marcus AureliusBeing and Time by Martin Heidegger
Best Philosophy Book
95th out of 557 books — 679 voters
The Bhagavad Gita by AnonymousThe Art of War by Sun TzuThe Metamorphoses of Ovid by OvidThe Way of Zen by Alan W. WattsThe Tao of the Tao Te Ching by Lao Tzu
Joseph Campbell Reading List
10th out of 46 books — 21 voters

More lists with this book...

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  rating details
Riku Sayuj

“Every heart sings a song, incomplete, until another heart whispers back. Those who wish to sing always find a song. At the touch of a lover, everyone becomes a poet.”

~ Plato


Phaedrus is commonly paired on the one hand with Gorgias and on the other with Symposium - with all three combining and leading towards Republic. It is compared with Gorgias in sharing its principal theme, the nature and limitations of rhetoric, and with Symposium in being devoted to the nature and val
[HARRY's apartment from When Harry Met Sally. HARRY is asleep on his couch. On the table next to him are a mostly-empty bottle of bourbon and a copy of Phaedrus. Enter SOCRATES.]

SOCRATES: Good evening, Harry.

HARRY: How--

SOCRATES: Don't worry, I'm not real. This is a dream.


SOCRATES: I see you're reading Phaedrus. Looking for advice, maybe?

HARRY: I-- I just can't understand how I could have done it. Why did I fuck her? I've ruined everything.

SOCRATES: You're sure about that?

HARRY: We ha
Ian Heidin[+]Fisch
A Twist in Your Toga

As they say in the classics, I’m glad I reviewed "The Symposium" before "Phaedrus".

Although the two relate to similar subject matter, it’s uncertain in what order they were written.

However, "Phaedrus" isn’t the toga party that "The Symposium" was, primarily because there are less participants. And everybody knows, the bigger the toga party, the better. (Well, it has a potential for more surprises, though apart from the surprise elemen
Phaedrus is another Socratic dialogue, but one which actually is a dialogue. Socrates runs into his friend Phaedrus, who tells him of a conversation he just had with Lysias, a mutual acquaintance. As in the Symposium

the topic is love, but here, instead of looking at many different aspects of love, the topic is, initially, who is the better object of a man's love? One should keep in mind that one of the positions defended in the Symposium is: the mo
Ce texte a été écrit par Platon il y a vingt-cinq siècles. C'est un dialogue, sans doute imaginaire, entre Socrate, qui fut l'un de ses maîtres dans sa jeunesse, et qu'il fait largement intervenir dans ses œuvres, et Phèdre, un jeune homme de la noblesse Athénienne qui le fréquente. Le prétexte de cette causerie, c'est une promenade en dehors de la ville, où Phèdre entraine Socrate après l'avoir appâté par son enthousiasme à l'idée de lui faire entendre un discours qui l'a enchanté. Ce discours, ...more
Spoiler alert: This book is not about a "philosophy of love" as many reviewers seem to believe. As every dream has its manifest content (a storyline) that masks a latent content (the suppressed, unconscious emotions that bubble into our semi-conscious REM sleep), Socrates' discourse on the nature of love thinly masks the true subject of this dialogue: bullshit, how to produce it, and how to recognize it. For the reader, his dialectical approach gives us a hint about how to resist it.

With self-de
The Phaedrus was not one of the dialogues we read in my Plato seminar in grad school, so I thought I'd finally tackle it. I didn't like it much. I'm guessing that that might be the influence of my particular professor, but I'm not sure.

Some of the other goodreads reviews are very well-written and do a nice job of analyzing the dialogue. Many highly recommend it.

The dialogue is a conversation between Socrates and Phaedrus out for a walk on a hot summer afternoon. They take shelter in a cool spot
Chiara Pagliochini
“Come una corrente di vento o un’eco che rimbalzando su una superficie levigata e solida si ripercuote al punto d’origine, così la corrente di bellezza penetra di nuovo nel bell’amato attraverso gli occhi. Così per il suo naturale canale raggiunge l’anima, e come vi arriva disponendola al volo irrora i meati delle penne, stimola la crescita delle ali e a poco a poco riempie d’amore l’anima dell’amato.”

La domanda legittima è: perché, quando uno sta già leggendo altri sette libri, una bella mattin
David Alexander
Phaedrus is a beautiful dialogue of Plato. I confess, I listened to the whole thing while laying down mulch for hours with my earbuds., man. Plato first sets the stage by narrating a scene of playful leisure to set the stage for layered, increasingly deeper contemplation. The dialogue offers valuable, time-tested insight and guidance in the life of the mind and itself embodies the insight.

Perhaps we get the word philosophy from this dialogue. At least in it Socrates defines the typ
Plato is RIDICULOUS. In all the best ways. I'm sort of inclined to agree with a friend who said that if you're trying to sort out the Socrates from the Plato, a pretty good indicator for the Socrates is the concentration of dirty jokes. The Phaedrus is rife with them. It actually opens with Lysias arguing for hookup culture. That makes the subtle little ways that Socrates pulls out the rug from under you all the more delicious.e
Am citit cartea asta ceva mai greu decat mi-as fi imaginat. Poate si pentru consistenta mare a ideilor, condensate in fiecare propozitie a dialogului. Schema discursului a fost de mare ajuor pentru intelegerea structurii, iar pt. cei interesati (nu pt. mine) de un studiu aprofundat exista cateva zeci de pagini de note cu explicatii suplimentare.

Dialogul este despre multe lucruri, de la fumos la iubire, insa cea mai semnificativa sectiunea mi s-a parut cea referitoare la arta discursului, la ret
Bob Nichols
The central feature of this dialogue is the myth of the two horses and the charioteer that describes the relationship between the souls of this world and the afterworld (heaven and beyond, to Reality?). The myth’s central message is that our world, the natural world of the cave and all of that, is inferior; the real world lies beyond. It is an immortal, perfect realm that philosopher-types are best suited to see.

Socrates defines two forms of love. In one, love is of the physical kind, such as a
Plato at his most playful. First Socrates presents one argument about romantic love (in a nutshell--that it's dangerous and not to be messed with), then professes to have changed his mind and presents an extreme counter to his own argument, (that love is a reminder of our true spiritual form and should be sought above all else). He finally reveals that he's just been messing with Phaedrus in order to show him how unwieldy and unreliable the art of rhetoric can be.
Ο Δάσκαλος Λιαντίνης έλεγε για τον Πλατωνικό Φαίδρο ότι " είναι το ωραιότερο ερωτικό ποίημα της παγκόσμιας λογοτεχνίας!! Στο βαθμό που είμαι ένας επαρκής αναγνώστης, δεν βρίσκω πιο όμορφο και πιο μεγάλο κατόρθωμα στο χώρο της ερωτικής ποίησης από τον Πλατωνικό Φαίδρο. Είναι ο κατεξοχήν ερωτικός Διάλογος..."
Cassandra Kay Silva
Curious about what the great Socrates may have said about Love? Guess what! This is the dialogues for you! Also he covers what he terms the sciences (unfortunately his idea of science is mostly that of Rhetoric) and some other taunting between Socrates and Phaedrus. Always fun to read Plato I must say.
Nancy Bielski
Read this for Core Concepts. Does anybody know what this means? I'm STILL confused like 5 years later. It may also be that I read this sophomore year when I was definitely more into my social life than really studying my face off...
Marts  (Thinker)
Written by Plato, this Socratic dialogue with Phaedrus, focuses on the topics of rhetoric (as in its correct use and practice) and that of erotic love.

Phaedrus was so brilliant that it shocked me. I could only focus on its meaning for days. I thought about it when I went to sleep, and one day I woke up two hours before I normally wake thinking about it.

Treating this as a discourse on love is the most basic, obvious, literal, interpretation of the work. Phaedrus, the character, engages with Socrates on the deeper topics of the work: persuasive speech, writing, rhetoric, the soul, truth, philosophy, rules of art, unprofound contemporary persons,
Phaedrus by Plato

This is a very beautiful work, by one of the greatest men who walked this earth.
Is it better to choose someone who loves you?
Or to associate with another, who does not love you?
I guess sometimes there is no choice…
What is love?
As it is known, Socrates uses dialectics to oppose different points of view, which in the end will bring out the truth. To begin with, there is an interesting argument in favor of selecting a person who does not love us, because his thinking is not clouded
The first Platonic dialogue I ever read was The Symposium and I liked Aristophanes' tale, frivolous as it was intended to be, of humans searching forever for their other half, separated from them by jealous gods. That was many years ago and when I was looking to get back to reading the classics, I thought I'd try something similar.

Phaedrus is smaller in scope and to be honest, slightly less engaging but it does throw up some interesting ideas. I liked Plato's analogy of the charioteer with two
Elias Vasilis Kontaxakis
“You provide your students with the appearance of intelligence, not real intelligence. Because your students will be widely read, though without any contact with a teacher, they will seem to be men of wide knowledge, when they will usually be ignorant. And this spurious appearance of intelligence will make them difficult company.”

In his dialogue Phaedrus, Plato addresses the problems of writing and deems it inferior to speech. He opens with a made-up myth about an Egyptian King receiving, as gif
Phaedrus is a trip and a half. I plan on reading about it later because that will elucidate some points, but for now Phaedrus is three or four fairly disjointed segments read by an old man from Hazelmere, Surrey who can "aah" and chuckle just like Socrates. Worth listening to for that reason alone. The premise is that Socrates and Phaedrus go for a walk beyond the wall of Athens and Phaedrus brings an argument of Lycius' and reads allowed this text saying that the non-lover is better than the l ...more
Jeremiah Tillman
This one is tricky. It ostensibly concerns love, madness, and the tripartite soul. To introduce these theories, elegant and loquacious speeches are read aloud or made up. Yet Plato implies that most speeches have little to no depth as they deal with appearances as opposed to the essence of reality. Thus I was confused as whether or not to believe Socrates' articulated agreement with Lysias' speech and then his just as articulated dismissal of his previous conviction. Plato's metaphor for the sou ...more
Paul Haspel
Plato's dialogues take on greater depth and resonance the more of them one reads. Socrates' character in them remains much the same: seemingly diffident, almost self-effacing, as he asks a series of questions that gradually reveal unstated assumptions on the part of the person with whom he is speaking. What changes from one dialogue to the next is the particular area of interest that a dialogue engages, and the character of the person or people whom Socrates engages in conversation. In the case ...more
Though I'm into love, my real interest in this dialogue has to do with its latter parts. So I'll zip through the early sections on love like a speedy fly:

As Phaedrus is wandering outside Athens, he comes across Socrates. Socrates "appear[s] ... totally out of place," as he rarely leaves Athens proper (230c). When Socrates learns that Phaedrus just came from hearing a speech by Lysias, he demands to hear it. After some cajoling and a good "is that a scroll under your toga or are you just happy to
Jan 25, 2010 Dusty rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommended to Dusty by: Elizabeth Richmond-Garza
On a steamy Grecian afternoon, while the cicadas chirp, while their countrymen nap, Socrates and Phaedrus converse about the nature of love, and about truth and rhetoric. Generally, I find reading Plato a tiresome chore. That's somewhat less the case with Phaedrus, which is, so far, the spunkiest Platonic dialogue I've read. The "love" discussed here is not between a man and a woman -- I believe at this time women weren't considered capable of love? -- but instead between a man and his fair boy( ...more
A lot to chew on here, and worthy of many repeat visits. I was drawn to this by an article I read about a college class. The "final" for the students was to reenact this dialogue in their own words in one of the college's common areas; a prodigious feat of both memory and internalizing the material if ever there was one. The book itself is certainly worthy of such an effort. Although my interest waxed and waned depending on the subject at hand, there are a multifold of relevant and insightful id ...more
M.G. Bianco
In Plato's Phaedrus, Socrates and Phaedrus discuss love and rhetoric. While it is true that a big chunk of the dialog is about love, the love speeches are really a setup for the final conversation on rhetoric. The love speeches become types of rhetoric that Socrates and Phaedrus then discuss to come to some conclusions about rhetoric.

A big takeaway: Rhetoric, to be truly effective and true and beautiful, requires the rhetorician to know his audience and the nature of the individuals that make u
God this is good stuff. Plato sends me.

"There is also a madness which is the special gift of heaven and the source of the chiefest blessings among men. This divine madness is of four kinds - the gift of prophecy, religious ecstasy in which the soul is purified from sin, poetical inspiration, and lastly the madness of love.

I might tell of many other noble deeds which have sprung
from inspired madness. And therefore, let no one frighten
or flutter us by saying that temperate love is preferable to
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 99 100 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • The Art of Rhetoric
  • Philosophical Fragments (Writings, Vol 7)
  • Plato I: Euthyphro. Apology. Crito. Phaedo. Phaedrus. (Loeb Classical Library, #36)
  • Ptolemy's Almagest
  • Philoctetes
  • Elements of Chemistry
  • The Way Things Are: The De Rerum Natura
  • The Nature of the Gods
  • The Enneads
  • Poetry, Language, Thought
  • Epitome of Copernican Astronomy and Harmonies of the World
  • On Great Writing (On the Sublime)
  • The Rhetorical Tradition: Readings from Classical Times to the Present
  • Fragments
  • An Introduction to Metaphysics
  • The Fragility of Goodness: Luck and Ethics in Greek Tragedy and Philosophy
  • On the Advantage and Disadvantage of History for Life
(Greek: Πλάτων) (Arabic: أفلاطون)
Plato is a Classical Greek philosopher, mathematician, student of Socrates, writer of philosophical dialogues, and founder of the Academy in Athens, the first institution of higher learning in the Western world. Along with his mentor, Socrates, and his student, Aristotle, Plato helped to lay the foundations of Western philosophy and science.

Plato is one of the most
More about Plato...
The Republic The Trial and Death of Socrates The Symposium Apology Five Dialogues: Euthyphro, Apology, Crito, Meno, Phaedo

Share This Book

“Love is a serious mental disease.” 645 likes
“Only a philosopher's mind grows wings, since its memory always keeps it as close as possible to those realities by being close to which the gods are divine.” 35 likes
More quotes…