Undergraduate Honors Theses

Thesis Defended

Spring 2013

Document Type




First Advisor

Prof. John Gibert


In his Symposium Plato appropriates two common literary elements, characterization and genre, for his own philosophical discourse. In this present study I examine the interaction of the two elements in the Symposium, and I argue that the two are inextricably linked, i.e. forces of characterization rely on and reinforces forces of genre in each of the speeches spoken by the seven symposiasts. In order to achieve this, I examine both the form and the content of each character’s speech and give special attention to matters of genre and argument, logic, and style of the speeches. In conclusion I propose that the Symposium, as a dialogue, celebrates particularly the character of Socrates, and, furthermore, the dialogue constitutes a defense of Plato’s philosophical styling.