49 pages 1 hour read



Nonfiction | Book | Adult | Published in 380

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Sections 212d-223dChapter Summaries & Analyses

Sections 212d-223d: “Alcibiades’s Speech”

Sections 212d-216c Summary

Suddenly, the group hears a commotion, and Alcibiades appears wearing a chaplet (a victory crown), very drunk, supported by a flute girl, and demanding to see Agathon. He has come to make up for being unable to attend the previous day with the intention to put his crown onto “the most attractive man in the world” (57). After the group enthusiastically invites him in, Agathon calls him over. As Alcibiades begins to untie his crown to transfer it to Agathon, it falls over his eyes, and he fails to notice Socrates until he turns to see who is on the couch beside him. Startled, he banters with Socrates, then asks Agathon to share some of the ribbons from the crown so that he can make one for Socrates since Socrates won arguments every day, not only at tragic competitions.

Alcibiades declares the group too sober and orders undiluted wine to be brought over in large quantities, though he notes it makes no difference to Socrates, who is known for being able to drink profusely but not get drunk. Eryximachus asks what Alcibiades would like them to do, and Alcibiades invites Eryximachus to suggest something, quoting Homer on the value of healers.