Review: Phaedrus — Plato

Read: 23
To Go: 77

Book List:
21. Why Men Lie — Linden MacIntyre
22. My Dear I Wanted to Tell You — Louisa Young
23. Phaedrus — Plato

Set in the idyllic countryside outside Athens, the Phaedrus is a dialogue between the philosopher Socrates and his young friend Phaedrus, inspired by their reading of a clumsy speech by the writer Lysias about love. After first considering the virtues of romantic love, their conversation develops into a wide-ranging discussion on such subjects as the pursuit of beauty, the nature of humanity, the immortality of the soul and the attainment of truth, and ends with an in-depth consideration of the principles of rhetoric. Probably  a work of Plato’s maturity, the Phaedrus represents a high point in his achievement as a writer. It remains a fascinating exploration of love, mortality, destiny and what it means to be human.

Have you ever walked or driven somewhere, and when you get to your destination you have this moment of realization that you just can’t remember how you got there?

Well, that was basically my experience with Phaedrus. I read the entire book, sat back, and couldn’t remember most of what was said. My general perception of the book, though, was that Socrates would say something and Phaedrus would reply, “Yes, master! You’re so intelligent! Everything you say is right!” So for that reason, no “review” today.

(For the record, this was a book I had to read for summer school. I didn’t read it for my health.)

Next book: I started this really bad impulse-buy book and I’m trekking through that. So that’ll probably be the next one.

– Kelsey

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