Jody Mena's Reviews > Symposium

Symposium by Plato
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's review
Aug 02, 2011

bookshelves: nonfiction

The Symposium was like a very filling snack - small, but potent. The Socratic method is always a treat when put into play, and I was fascinated by the way stories went into fourth- and fifth-hand accounts, rather a direct presentation - it added another dimension to the tale. I think anyone looking to read, and more, to understand the Symposium would need to know a little something about the history and society it's set in, as the topics the party-goers discuss, such as pederasty or the baseness of loving a woman, might seem alien and even reprehensible by today's standards. The Allegory of the Cave presents one of my favorite ideas about the structure of reality, and I think that, aside from a perfect governing form, it goes on to present a moral lesson about perception and judgement, and the reason for tolerance of differing veiws - perhaps not exactly what Plato intended, but no author can fully control the derivatives of his works. I always feel a sense of pity for the philosopher kings Plato would drag back down into the darkness for the good of the people - a necessary evil, but, it seems an evil nonetheless. This is a great little book, a quick read but full of meaning and very enjoyable!
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