In this dialogue Plato has Socrates going to a Symposium (drink party) with Aristodemus, it is Apollodorus who is recounting the story to a group of unnamed companions. The story is that of Agathon winning an award for his new drama, and him having a party to celebrate it. Aristodemus is invited, but doesn’t know he has been invited yet, while Socrates has been invited and Aristodemus tags along, but he is welcomed into the party as Agathon explains he couldn’t find him to invite him.

The dialogue is about love in general and particular. Because all of the people at the party drank heavily yesterday, they decide to drink little, not get drunk and instead perform speeches about love. All agree, and Phaedrus goes first, then Pausanias, then Eryximachus, then Aristophanes, then Agathon, and then Socrates. As Socrates finishes, there is a kerfuffle, which is Alcibiades busting into the party, changing the rules (to not get drunk) and performs his own eulogy to love which he defines as Socrates. This speech ends the dialogue because everyone decides to go to bed, or stay up debating while being too drunk to hold onto the conversation, except for Socrates who never gets drunk even when he drinks heavily.

The dialogue discusses love in many ways, physically, what it is, what it expects and asks for, different forms of love like homosexual, homoerotic and childbearing. Because of the amount of people giving speeches and their different views there is so much to think about, so much clearly wrong, and so much getting in on the mark, and plenty of questions not put forward which makes you read this dialogue all over again. Beautiful use of language, speech patterns and philosophy. A perfect book.

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