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Publisher's Summary

The Greek word sumposion means a drinking party (a fact shamefully ignored by the organizers of modern symposia), and the party described in Plato's Symposium is one supposedly given in the year 416 BC by the playwright Agathon to celebrate his victory in the dramatic festival of the Lenaea. He has already given one party, the previous evening; this second party is for a select group of friends, and host and guests alike are feeling a little frail. They decide to forego heavy drinking, and concentrate on conversation. The subject of their conversation is Eros, the god of sexual love.

Symposium was written around 384 BC, and many would regard it as Plato's finest dialogue, from an artistic point of view, and the most enjoyable to read or listen to. There are many reasons for this, including the keyhole glimpse it gives us of Athenian society; the role played in the dialogue by Socrates; the description of what has come to be known as Platonic love; and the characterization of the speakers.

The Cast:

David Shaw-Parker as Socrates

Tim Bentinck as Apollodorus/Alcibiades

Andrew Branch as Aristodemus

Daniel Flynn as Agathon

Gordon Griffin as Pausanias/Friend

Hayward Morse as Phaedrus

Christopher Scott as Eryximachus/Servant

Susan Sheridan as Diotima

David Timson as Aristophanes

Daniel Flynn as Presenter

PLEASE NOTE: When you purchase this title, the accompanying reference material will be available in your My Library section along with the audio.

(P)2005 Naxos Audiobooks

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  • B. Leddy
  • 19-02-2012

A perfect introduction to Plato

This audio book was perfect. When it is Socrates' turn to speak, he makes reference to a conversation he had with a woman. The audio production actually brings in a female narrator (who is just as effective as the main narrator) to take over this section. So you really get a "feel" for the ideas being conveyed as the Greeks at the time would have been considering them. Ad a side note, it is amazing how open this culture was to homosexuality. Judging from this classic of western philosophy it was the norm in 5th/6th century Athens.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
  • Cathy Dopp
  • 16-02-2006

Greek Philosophy over a Good Wine

This production does a great job on throwing some life into Greek Philosophy. You'll be able put personalities with recognizable greek names, and the discussion is definately easier to follow with the full cast. But this is still pretty heavy stuff. If you're hoping for Greek Philosophy ala "Xena: Warrior Princess ", you're in the wrong selection.

You'll be listening in as these highbrow Athenias philosphers open a few bottles of wine and debate the pros and cons of Eros, the god of Love. (Remember that these intellectuals considered heterosexual love a cheap imitation of the more noble homosexual love - this is one of the few points they seem to agree on). The program revolves around philosophy, there's not any plot or action. But the dramatization helps you understand which opinions are coming from doctors, warriors, actors, etc. - thus making each perspective easier to follow. The fact that this debate took place because everyone had hangovers leaves you gaping at what regular debates had to be like back then!

10 of 13 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Nelson Alexander
  • 07-09-2009

You'll Wish You Were There

A delightful reading of what is probably Plato's most popular dialogue. Worth it just to hear Aristophanes' famous, witty description of spheroid, hermaphroditic humans before Zeus split us into two genders. Note that if you are a raging homophobe, you had better pass on this classic (and on much of Western Civilization).

4 of 7 people found this review helpful

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  • Henry Maicki II
  • 26-08-2018

Socrates on love

A fantastic performance, including multiple voices of one of Plato’s many works. The symposium, drinking party, starts with an ode to Eros, and ends with an ode to Socrates. A great listen to round out your understanding of Socrates and Plato.

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  • Victor
  • 02-05-2018

Perfect performance of one of Plato’s best stories

I enjoyed every minute of Plato’s inspiring story performed in excellent English by first-class actors.

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  • Jonathan
  • 27-10-2017

Worth the 2.5 hours

Discovering the meaning of love? I call this a good investment. Diotima for the win.

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  • sai kiran chalam
  • 19-05-2017

Wonderful argument on love

Beautifully narrated by the cast and one of the best books by Plato, Socrates is just amazing with his reasoning and the way he makes an argument is just indisputably awesome.

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  • Chris Campbell
  • 16-12-2016

Teach me more, Socrates!!

There is not a single thing I didn't like about this book! Everything about it was 100% perfect!

The full voice cast really immersed you in what was happening. You could truly believe that each voice was fluent in that archaic and beautiful way of speaking. I found myself wishing more than once wishing I could participate in the conversation.

The ideas taught about the nature of love, immortality and continuation are quite brilliant as one could expect of Plato's writings. But one thing that truly captivated me was learning more about Socrates the man. Socrates has become iconic of philosophy and genius but who was he? I felt this book shined a great deal of light on that.

This book should be required listening in schools! And everyone should listen to it. Get this now if you're looking for a great course in philosophy.

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  • QueryQueue
  • 25-06-2015

A must read x times

This book is a very important part of every serious philosophers library. I did not get the full benefit until I came back to it a few years later trying to answer a question about love.

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  • Marc Phillips
  • 22-07-2014

A stellar performance. Great production value.

Would you listen to Symposium again? Why?

Probably. If you listen at 2x, it sounds like monty python.

What was the most interesting aspect of this story? The least interesting?

I hate greek Philosophy, but was going to a forum on this particular topic. The listen was so much better then to slog through the text.

Have you listened to any of Full Cast’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

I have not listened to a full cast before. That being said, this one was terrific.

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  • Fluent Breather
  • 12-06-2017

It's great

This book far exceeded my expectations. Thoroughly enjoyed this audible purchase. A multitude of perspectives delivered with quality.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful