socrates' first speech phaedrus

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The major themes of the Phaedrus are introduced in these opening scenes of the dialogue: Love Lysias's speech deals with a particular kind of love relationship: the sexually charged affiliation of an older man and … It is also important to remember that we owe this depiction of Socrates to Plato. Socrates tells a brief legend, critically commenting on the gift of writing from the Egyptian god Theuth to King Thamus, who was to disperse Theuth's gifts to the people of Egypt. Phaedrus and Socrates walk through a stream and find a seat in the shade, and Phaedrus commences to repeat Lysias' speech. [Note 29], One comes to manifest this sort of love after seeing beauty here on earth and being reminded of true beauty as it was seen beyond heaven. When attacked it cannot defend itself, and is unable to answer questions or refute criticism. This is in contrast to such dialogues as the Symposium, in which Plato sets up multiple layers between the day's events and our hearing of it, explicitly giving us an incomplete, fifth-hand account.[2]. And yet, they agree, the art of making these divisions is dialectic, not rhetoric, and it must be seen what part of rhetoric may have been left out. A hungry animal can be driven by dangling a carrot or a bit of greenstuff in front of it; similarly if you proffer me speeches bound in books (en bibliois) I don't doubt you can cart me all around Attica, and anywhere else you please. Readers at this point should want to know more about how the desire for the good, or even the desire for the beautiful, differs from the outrageous eros of the lover. [Note 4], Socrates retorts that he is still in awe, and claims to be able to make an even better speech than Lysias on the same subject. The speech tells the story of a boy or youth who had many male lovers. Phaedrus Summary and Analysis of Socrates' First Speech: 237b-241d. [Note 7], Socrates, rather than simply listing reasons as Lysias had done, begins by explaining that while all men desire beauty, some are in love and some are not. He apologizes to the gods for the previous speeches, and Phaedrus joins him in the prayer. [Note 25], What is outside of heaven, says Socrates, is quite difficult to describe, lacking color, shape, or solidity, as it is the subject of all true knowledge, visible only to intelligence. How does Phaedrus finally convince Socrates to give his speech. resource to ask questions, find answers, and discuss the novel. Notably, Socrates sees the pederastic relationship as ideally devoid of sexual consummation; rather than being used for sexual pleasure, the relationship is a form of divine madness, helping both lover and beloved to grow and reach the divine. Phaedrus is Plato's only dialogue that shows Socrates outside the city of Athens, out in the country. The question has inspired much debate in Phaedrus scholarship. So, by the same token, it cannot be destroyed. The discussion of rhetoric, the proper practice of which is found to actually be philosophy, has many similarities with Socrates's role as a "midwife of the soul" in the Theaetetus; the dialectician, as described, is particularly resonant. Phaedrus has spent the morning listening to Lysias deliver a speech on love, and now he desires to take a walk outside the city. Moreover, one must have an idea of what is good or bad for the soul and, as a result, know what the soul should be persuaded towards. Socrates's Speech Entry of Alcibiades ... Phaedrus first describes love as a "great and awesome god" whose primordial nature grants him precedence over other deities. A writer, then, is only a philosopher when he can himself argue that his writing is of little worth, among other requirements. The absence of shame makes room for a sense of pride to come in; pride from the wealthy feeling of impressing one's own lover. Moving from within, all souls are self-movers, and hence their immortality is necessary. The importance of divine inspiration is demonstrated in its connection with the importance of religion, poetry and art, and above all else, love. Baker key hole. [Note 28], Souls then begin cycles of reincarnation. [Note 2]. This relationship brings guidance and love into the boy’s life. Socrates first objects that an orator who does not know bad from good will, in Phaedrus's words, harvest "a crop of really poor quality". [Note 34] Those who give in do not become weightless, but they are spared any punishment after their death, and will eventually grow wings together when the time comes. We are all ruled, he says, by two principles: one is our inborn desire for pleasure, and the other is our acquired judgment that pursues what is best (237d). Phaedrus then reads Lysias's speech to Socrates. Phaedrus is a dialogue written by Plato around 370 BC. To distinguish a man who is in love from a man who is not, then, one must realize the two principles that rule men: the “inborn desire for pleasures” and the “acquired judgment that pursues what is best” (237d). Any soul that catches sight of any true thing is granted another circuit where it can see more; eventually, all souls fall back to earth. Plato’s Republic treats eros as a dangerous but important part of the philosopher’s soul. In what light, then, should we see or trust Socrates’ putatively divinely-inspired speech? Yet men who are not in love also desire the beautiful. Those that can remember are startled when they see a reminder, and are overcome with the memory of beauty. This rather bold claim has puzzled readers and scholars of Plato's work for centuries because it clearly shows that Socrates saw genuine value in the irrational elements of human life, despite many other dialogues that show him arguing that one should pursue beauty and that wisdom is the most beautiful thing of all. What concession does Phaedrus grant Socrates for his first speech? Following your judgment is "being in your right mind", while following desire towards pleasure without reason is "outrage" (hubris). This is the best form that possession by a god can take, for all those connected to it. One of these men persuaded the boy that “he was not in love, though he … Phaedrus urges Socrates to deliver such a speech, and while Socrates is playfully reluctant at first… Eros can be a form of madness in which the inborn desire for beauty overwhelms one’s sense of morality and control in pursuing what is best (i.e., hubris overwhelms sophrosune). [1] Although ostensibly about the topic of love, the discussion in the dialogue revolves around the art of rhetoric and how it should be practiced, and dwells on subjects as diverse as metempsychosis (the Greek tradition of reincarnation) and erotic love. To practice an art, one must know what that art is for and what it can help one achieve. Love is a kind of desire. PHAEDRUS Phaedrus is commonly paired on the one hand with Gorgias and on the other with Symposium-with the former in sharing its principal theme, the lIature and limitations of rhetoric, with the latter in containing speeches devoted to the They encompass discussions of the soul, madness, divine inspiration, and the practice and mastery of an art. Socrates' Recantation: 241d-243e Summary and Analysis, Socrates' Challenge of Lysias: 234d-237b Summary and Analysis. The speech tells the story of a boy or youth who had many male lovers. Lysias was one of the three sons of Cephalus, the patriarch whose home is the setting for Plato's Republic. [Note 23], In heaven, he explains, there is a procession led by Zeus, who looks after everything and puts things in order. Apollo says he is. Socrates invokes the Muses at the beginning of his speech. The speaker begins by noting the importance of understanding the “true nature of a particular subject"—for otherwise the inquiry will end up in conflict and confusion (237c). Caught between these two feelings, the lover is in utmost anguish, with the boy the only doctor for the pain. This is much like the person who claims to have mastered harmony after learning the highest and lowest notes of the lyre. When a soul sheds its wings, it comes to earth and takes on an earthly body that then seems to move itself. The Phaedrus was presumably composed around 370 BCE, about the same time as Plato's Republic and Symposium. [Note 30], When one is reminded of true beauty by the sight of a beautiful boy, he is called a lover. To get caught in something shameful would be like letting down his lover, therefore the boy is consistently acting his best. A soul is always in motion and as a self-mover has no beginning. The pederastic relationships common to ancient Greek life are also at the fore of this dialogue. [Note 31], Beauty, he states, was among the most radiant things to see beyond heaven, and on earth it sparkles through vision, the clearest of our senses. It generally takes 10,000 years for a soul to grow its wings and return to where it came, but philosophers, after having chosen such a life three times in a row, grow their wings and return after only 3,000 years. Afterwards, the boy will be forced to chase after his undelivered rewards, angry that he has given favors to a lover rather than a non-lover. The man made a speech to convince the boy to give his favors to the non-lover rather than the lover. ", namely, the pharmakon. [Note 42] Socrates then goes on to say, Socrates's speech, on the other hand, starts with a thesis and proceeds to make divisions accordingly, finding divine love, and setting it out as the greatest of goods.

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