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This paper seeks to illuminate the significance of Socrates' entrance into a series of speeches by exploring the connection between love and learning in Plato's Symposium. We begin by presenting historical and social contexts relevant to the dialogue and its author. We then turn to the dialogue, outlining the fundamental components of each speech and, moreover, analyzing each speech with the aim of eliciting educational implications which are later highlighted and expanded on by Socrates. We examine these pedagogical connotations through a thorough investigation of each speech, keeping a keen eye on Socrates. We approach our examination of Socrates’ speech in two key ways. The first is to examine how the educational implications found within the earlier speeches are later acknowledged and expanded on by Socrates. Furthermore, we also examine the way in which Socrates forms careful alterations of the previous speakers’ assertations to provide them with new meanings. Second, we examine Socrates' approach in contrast with the prior speeches. In our examination of Socrates’ speech, we find that the structure of Socrates' speech sharply contrasts with the overall narrative formatting of the prior speeches and the dialogue as a whole. We argue that Plato deliberately emphasizes Socrates' approach by constructing a structure that contrasts with previous speeches. For further support of our interpretation, we turn to additional Platonic dialogues with the intent of gaining further insight into his educational approach.

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Love And Education In Plato's Symposium



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