The remarkable range of Plato's Dialogues is vividly demonstrated by these three works.
It opens with Phaedrus, a highly personal discussion between Socrates (David Rintoul) and the young, love-struck Phaedrus (Gunnar Cauthery). They go for a walk outside the walls of Athens and, under a plane tree by the banks of the Ilissus, talk about love - erotic and 'Platonic'. Socrates endeavours to steer Phaedrus away from infatuation and show him that real love is based on concern for the beloved while also delivering a pointed criticism against lack of clarity in thought and expression!
The subject of Cratylus is the meaning and etymology of names and words - a Dialogue unlike any other. Why is Zeus called Zeus? What is the origin of the names of Pallas Athene, Poseidon, Uranus? And how did psuche come to mean 'soul' and soma body? Attic Greek, the Greek of Plato's day, is prominent here, and care has been taken in the appropriate pronunciation for this recording.
Finally, there is Parmenides, often regarded as the most challenging of all the Dialogues. Cephalus (Laurence Kennedy) repeats a discussion he heard between Socrates, Zeno and Parmenides as Socrates defends pluralist views and the theory of forms against monism.
Translation by Benjamin Jowett.
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