The SymposiumeBook - 1984
R. E. Allen’s superb new translation of Plato’s Symposium brings this classic text to life for modern readers. Allen supplements his translation with a commentary that not only enriches our understanding of Plato’s philosophy and the world of Greek antiquity but also provides insights into present-day philosophical concerns.
Allen reveals the unity of Plato’s intentions in the Symposium, explores the dialogue’s major themes, and links them with Plato’s other dialogues. His wide-ranging commentary includes discussions of Greek religious, social, and sexual practices, the conceptual connections between the Symposium and Freud, the influence of the Symposium on later writers, and recent scholarship on the dialogue. Allen’s primary focus is philosophical, however, and he succeeds in explicating the doctrine of Eros in Plato’s Symposium so that the reader can see how wish and desire relate to Plato’s moral philosophy, epistemology, and metaphysics.