The Last of the Wine Summary
Just as the search for individual arete, the inward thirst for achievement knowingly made beautiful, formed the basis for the society of the Athenian Golden Age, the chief theme of The Last of the Wine is Alexias' growth to manhood through his profound relation with Lysis, who was himself the historical subject of Plato's dialogue on Friendship. Together Alexias and Lysis progress toward perception of the Absolute Good, Absolute Beauty, Absolute Truth delineated in Plato's Symposium. Plato espouses the nature of Love, in which physical expression is only the first step to the ennoblement of the human soul.
As Lysis guides Alexias' development, both men illustrate the Classical pursuit of truth, goodness, and beauty won by overcoming physical and spiritual suffering. The scene of Lysis' beating during Renault's parody of an athletic contest reveals the perversion of Athens' ideals that lead to the decline of...
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The The Last of the Wine Study Pack contains about 21 pages of study material in 5 products, including:
The Last of the Wine Short Guide
Essays & Analysis (4)
368 words, approx. 2 pages
Critical Essay by Moses Hadas
Miss Renault's historical novels are excellent. They hold their own as artistically wrought and moving stories and they are rich in the adult entertainment which i...
920 words, approx. 4 pages
Critical Essay by Dudley Fitts
[The] less inhibited cousin [of the historical novel], the legendary romance—a freer form because it is by nature exempt from the restrictions of historical fact&...
2,149 words, approx. 8 pages
Critical Essay by Landon C. Burns, Jr.
The Last of the Wine (1956) is an excellent historical novel by all the standards which we usually use to judge such work. Miss Renault's reconstruction o...
546 words, approx. 2 pages
Critical Essay by Lionel Casson
[In The Last of the Wine] Miss Renault gives us both sides of the coin, the very special and precious relationship that could exist between men who were lovers, and the...