AuthorKelly, Heather Colleen
Committee ChairVivante, Bella
MetadataShow full item record
PublisherThe University of Arizona.
RightsCopyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.
AbstractIn evaluating Alcibiades' speech in Plato's Symposium, modern commentators often either conflate the historical figure and the fictive character, or else fail to make a distinction between Alcibiades the narrator and Alcibiades the eager young man whose adolescent encounters with Socrates which the more mature adult describes. The resulting scholarship tends to cast Alcibiades as a foil for Socrates and to reduce Plato's creation to a philosophic cautionary tale. Such reductions are misleadingly simplistic and require revision.By taking care to let neither history nor reputation supersede the textual evidence the Symposium provides, we can make a compelling case for a more moderate assessment of Alcibiades' philosophical progress. In doing so, we find that he is not lacking in understanding but rather that his understanding is incomplete. As such, Alcibiades occupies the vaguely defined space of intermediacy and intermediaries--the metaxu with which so much of the Symposium is concerned.