Conversations of Socrates - Study Guide Chapter 3, The Dinner-Party Summary & Analysis

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The Dinner-Party takes place at a dinner party, which was a regular event for upper-class Athenians. Mostly men would attend perfumed and meet for dinner. They would drink religious libations and sing a paean and then drink more. While drinking, the host would provide entertainment. Xenophon's dinner party was held due to Autolycus' victory in the pancration at a Great Panathenaea festival. The Dinner-Party is Xenophon's best Socratic work. The chief themes are the nature of love and Socrates' ideal true goodness.

The main contrast of love is between pure and impure (physical) homosexuality. Socrates says that the latter is debauchery. But Socrates' homosexual attractions are on display, though he does not consummate them. Socrates' ability to resist temptation is extolled. Socrates argues that wise men should rank love of mind over physical love. When we love someone for their mind...

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This section contains 921 words
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