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By Robinson, Steven. 1998

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Extra info for Drama, dialogue and dialectic: Dionysos and the dionysiac in Plato's Symposium

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For instance, he makes nothing at al1 of the sympotic context or of the mystery- cult langage, aside from noting their pnsence and their dionysiac character. It is perhaps best, then, to restrict ourselves to raising a concem with this interpretation of the final scene, which bears on Plato's critique of ciramatic poetry. Anton has, in effect, taken eros as a model, or metaphor, for the platonic dialogues in that, qua genre,they become a third form that subsumes within itself the two opposites.

The fact is that dionysianism is rife with contradictions and incompatibilities, and classical scholars have findy come to accept that Dionysos is best understood as a multi-faceted god, and not a coherent unity (Guthrie, J'he Greeh 145ff). And it is worth remembering that this conclusion is based on the total surviving testimony of the d e n t Greeks themselves; the project of defuing Dionysos has always been a strictly modern,scientific attempt to impose order where none already exists, except in a single name.

M g e r has given us no good muon not to do so. Another problem with Krllger's nading is that it seems to imply that Plato is openly declaring in the that both he himself and Socrates are guilty of the The fact that Aiki'biades gives this praise grudgingly, and even declans, There can be no teconciliation between you and met' m the context of references to violence (213d6), might appear to support Kr(iger's reading, but only if tbis is tbe god speakhg and not Aikibiades penonaiiy. This threat of violence is inconsisrcnt with the nature of the praise Aiikbiades gives, and while such inccmsistency is understandable in the case of a human sou1 being puiied in opposite directions (precisely AUo'bades' chunstance here), it does not seem understandable in the case of the god Dionysos himself.

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