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Download Symposium Audiobook (Unabridged)

Extended Audio Sample Symposium (Unabridged) Audiobook, by Plato
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (12,266 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Plato Narrator: Full Cast Publisher: Naxos AudioBooks Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: February 2006 ISBN:
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The Greek word sumposion means a drinking party (a fact shamefully ignored by the organizers of modern symposia), and the party described in Plato's Symposium is one supposedly given in the year 416 BC by the playwright Agathon to celebrate his victory in the dramatic festival of the Lenaea. He has already given one party, the previous evening; this second party is for a select group of friends, and host and guests alike are feeling a little frail. They decide to forego heavy drinking, and concentrate on conversation. The subject of their conversation is Eros, the god of sexual love.

Symposium was written around 384 BC, and many would regard it as Plato's finest dialogue, from an artistic point of view, and the most enjoyable to read or listen to. There are many reasons for this, including the keyhole glimpse it gives us of Athenian society; the role played in the dialogue by Socrates; the description of what has come to be known as Platonic love; and the characterization of the speakers.

The Cast:

David Shaw-Parker as Socrates
Tim Bentinck as Apollodorus/Alcibiades
Andrew Branch as Aristodemus
Daniel Flynn as Agathon
Gordon Griffin as Pausanias/Friend
Hayward Morse as Phaedrus
Christopher Scott as Eryximachus/Servant
Susan Sheridan as Diotima
David Timson as Aristophanes
Daniel Flynn as Presenter

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Listener Opinions

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Colin | 2/20/2014

    " Penguin's "Great Ideas" series is itself a great idea. Some of the best of what has been thought and said presented in compact, portable, readable translations. Plato's Symposium presents the concept of "Platonic love," and this volume also includes the "Allegory of the Cave" extracted from Plato's Republic. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Casey | 2/19/2014

    " Had to read it for college, fell asleep often, but the discussions after were bombastic and pretentious (in the way only a group of eighteen-year-olds can be) and totally fun. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Mary Eyring | 2/13/2014

    " How do you know if you're in love if you can't define it? Read on. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Kate | 2/12/2014

    " i love the idea of forms, must re-read to remember why i was so moved by this "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Candice | 2/3/2014

    " Enjoyed Aristophanes' speech, didn't particularly care for the others. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Ava Butzu | 2/2/2014

    " Is this the first version of "what would happen if x, y, and z were at a dinner party together..."? Good stuff. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Selena | 1/31/2014

    " My first experience with any of Plato's dialogues and it is definitely my favorite (if its proper for one to do something as trivial as name a "favorite" of Plato's dialogues, he didn't exactly write them to be "summer fun reading," I'm sure he's making sure I'll never be a literature professor now). The idea is so simple, Socrates gets a bunch of guys together, gets them completely drunk and contemplates the definition and nature of "love." The resulting definitions (there are multiple) serve as the basis for every relationship in every Shakespeare play that I can think of and they're still the only ways we define love as a society and culture today. Ever wonder why you've been using the word "Platonic" to describe your relationships with friends of the opposite sex? Look no further. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Elisabeth Sepulveda | 1/22/2014

    " I liked it and his thoughts on the love/beauty/immortality train of reasoning. I would also like to add that college parties should look more like this. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Angie | 1/19/2014

    " Aristophanes' speech is super awesome! SUPER AWESOME! "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Bruno | 1/15/2014

    " Not the best of Plato, but interesting "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Ffiamma | 1/12/2014

    " meraviglia allo stato puro- per ossigenare il cervello. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Everett Darling | 1/9/2014

    " There is so much truth in such a little book. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Ming | 12/26/2013

    " Love is knowledge, knowledge is love. Don't gimme no physical and emotional distractions now "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Kathleen O. Roehm | 12/11/2013

    " One of my favorites; a must read. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Weathervane | 11/22/2013

    " Probably one of the best books I've read. Worth it for Diotima's speech alone; blew me away, as I've had those sort of thoughts before. Alcibiades' entrance made me literally laugh out loud. Excellent. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 David | 11/21/2013

    " This is a great book and excellent commentary. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Seth Smith | 11/19/2013

    " Truth comes, they say, from wine and children, so it is only fitting that Plato's discussion of Love, one that remains even to this day, should take the setting of a drinking party. A funny, intriguing and insightful look at the core issue of the human condition. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Manuel Pirino | 4/2/2013

    " This one is harder to digest, but some lines on love by Socrtaes (well, his character at least) are just so damn true. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Xdyj | 4/5/2012

    " Where the phrase "Platonic love" came from. Contains some of the most well-known ideas & arguments in classical Greek philosophy. I read the free Benjamin Jowett translation, & it's also sort of interesting to see how a Victorian attempted to "explain away" certain stuff in his "introduction". "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Liz | 3/5/2012

    " Good ole' philosophy of sexual relations and Greek ideas of love. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Moira Russell | 1/7/2012

    " This is one of my favourite books in the world. I particularly love this translation. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Eve | 1/5/2012

    " Read it and read it again and reread it and than start again. The best from Plato. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Pseudovoid | 9/19/2011

    " I absolutely loved reading this work. The social atmosphere in which these ideas were delivered was charming, good-humored, and somewhat enchanting. Friendly words and serious discussion, respects and acknowledgement are paid to Love. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Laura | 9/12/2011

    " I love the part about "giving birth in beauty" and the explanation of hetero- and homosexuality. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Bill Tarlin | 7/16/2011

    " The two translations I compared were close enough that I think I get the gist of the arguments. Not too compelling as philosophy in the context of centuries of available texts working the subjects from every conceivable angle. But highly entertaining as a historic capsule of a unique social scene. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Christine | 2/13/2011

    " incredible writing, really makes you think "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Melanie | 1/24/2011

    " What is love? Well, it usually doesn't involve women, that's for sure. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Therese | 5/12/2010

    " Very accessible translation, which still retains the beauty of the work. Good introduction, raising the appropriate questions without overwhelming a new reader. The notes at the end of the book are adequate for the everyman reader. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 John | 4/13/2010

    " Good stuff, makes me think. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Neonsolid | 12/8/2009

    " Not the best of the dialogues, Plato and friends talk about love in both dialogues and don't really come to any good conclusions in either. By "good" I mean well thought or relevant. Probably not the best edition either. I don't recommend it. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Robbins' | 7/9/2009

    " It's philosophy...need I write more "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 bridget | 3/6/2008

    " this was my first introduction to the Greeks and i was hooked. the symposium is actually quoted a lot in all kinds of literature. i love Aristophanes commentary on the nature of love. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Maria | 8/28/2007

    " I read this in a great class all about Ancient Greek Eroticism. I loved it. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 patxi | 2/10/2007

    " Platón, y dos bellos "diálogos" sobre el amor y la belleza. Plásticamente preciosos, hay que profundizar en su lectura... "

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About the Author
Author Plato

Plato (c. 427–347 BC) stands with Socrates and Aristotle as one of the shapers of the whole intellectual tradition of the West. He founded in Athens the Academy, the first permanent institution devoted to philosophical research and teaching, and the prototype of all Western universities.