The War And Plato 's Symposium, And The Man Discussed

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In two very different works we see two equally different portrayals of the same man; these differences are informed by the author’s purpose, the genre of the work, and the effects of the depiction upon the rest of the specific work. These works are of course Thucydides’, The History of the Peloponnesian War and Plato’s Symposium, and the man discussed is the Athenian giant, Alcibiades of the Alcmaeonidae. The authors, of course, have their own aims and reasons for writing their works, Plato, writing an allegory on love likely to defend his teacher Socrates, and Thucydides, to inform on what he believes to be the most significant war in history. The genres of the works being philosophy and history respectively also affects the rhetoric of Alcibiades’ speech; as well as his greater portrayals in the works. It is important to note the differences in the depictions as they are significant not only to understanding the literary merit of the works, but also furthering the knowledge with respect to the author’s motives and the state of higher opinion on a maverick of a man in the late 5th and early 4th Centuries BC in Athens. The first significant variance one must note between the author’s works is the rhetoric and aims of the speeches Alcibiades makes in the two works. In Plato’s Symposium all the major characters are at a dinner party and are giving speeches about eros, the Greek concept of love, and there is quite an awkward relationship squabble occurring between Socrates and

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