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Department of the Classics, Harvard University

Plato as a Playwright
Author(s): Louis Dyer
Source: Harvard Studies in Classical Philology, Vol. 12, Goodwin Volume (1901), pp. 165-180
Published by: Department of the Classics, Harvard University
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130 on Wed.jstor. see especially pp. Such a scheme has now appeared. immemori- ally recognized as Plato's latest works. II. 6. and the Philebus with the 7iYmaeus. and that fact must excuse the following attempt to distinguish a growth and a decay in Plato's art as a playwright6 and to mark out three stages in the evolution of the 1 Introduction to the Phaedrus. 409. Professor Lewis Campbell grouped the Sophist. Lutoslawski. PLATO AS A PLAYWRIGHT BY Louis DYER SINCE 1872. -A fullgeneration since. so long as there was no widely recognized scheme of the order in which Plato wrote his Dialogues. The first period has always been supposed to include the 4Aolo y. and the Lawes. although he has truly saida that "we lose the better half of Plato when we regard his Dialogues merely as literary compositions. .133. passim. and two or three other short Dialogues termed Socratic par excellence. W.4 Nevertheless. it was out of the question to attempt any connected account of the part played in the unfolding of his philosophic mind by Plato's dramatic genius. the Crito. It has been reserved for Mr.--I have been pre- occupied with the exhibition in these unparalleled dramatizations of what may be called Plato's skill as a playwright." Lewis Nettleship was never tired of illustrating the part played by dramatic intention and effectiveness in the arguments of Plato's Retpublic." has constantly2 drawn attention to " resemblances to the Greek drama" which "may be noted in all the Dialogues of Plato. the Charmides. 2 See especially his Introduction to the Phado. This gave a well-defined third period of authorship. the .the circle of the Platonic and of the Platonizing Socrates as I now venture to put it. the Euthyphro. 4 pp. 29 Mar 2017 17:03:54 UTC All use subject to http://about. when I was welcomed by Professor Goodwin into the charmed circle of the Socrates portrayed in Plato's earlier and middle period of authorship. the Statesman. and much that is illuminating in Pater's Plato and Platonism applies specifically to our author's dramatic craftsmanship. chiefly by marshalling compactly in his pages scattered work already done by several scholars This content downloaded from 186. ad fin. 3 Lectures and Remains. 6 and 66-88. Jowett.

Lutoslawski's chronology as offering the right basis for following the growth of Plato's philosophy. at least. I find it easy to acc in its support is not of a metaphysica to follow Mr. Plato in writing of the Platonic Socrates. the Rerpublic. Disenchanted later on in the midst of his most mature . the Alhno. and to establish a middle group of the Crayllus. I should also venture to surmise that Mr. forcing upon Plato our own point of view. i66 Louis Dyer philosophic Dialogue as he used it. Lu sophical grounds. the Phaedo. to complete the first or Socratic group with the Protagoras. 275 E." 2 This disenchantment of Plato's was so genuine that he abandoned authorship and confined himself presum- ably to oral teaching for twelve years more or less. I If I understood the lectures on Plato given in 1897 by the Master of Balliol. .demus. and forgetting that the experience of a long life spent in hard thinking was required before Plato dreamed of undrama- tized logic. of any form of argument that could be effective without a compelling personality represented in the very act of using it. the Euthy. the Theael/eIis and the Parmenides. but not otherwise. the Theaetetus. Oth ties in metaphysics may accept Mr. the whatsoever speaker they might be dramatically assigned. he accepted Mr. -" to be bandied about promiscuously.243. Lutoslawski's lead even if one has not the wit to frame any connected opinions about the deep questions of Plato's philosophy. Our philosopher has many and subtle devices for dramatizing his logic. Thus.130 on Wed. and. and the Parmenides. Henry Jackson would be of like mind.jstor. the Svmnposium. See his recent work on Plato's Logic. 29 Mar 2017 17:03:54 UTC All use subject to http://about. and the Gorgias. 1897 (Longmans). if maltreated. I Phaedrus. But he ended by thinking better of it and produced two more Dialogues. became inert and helpless things as soon as they were written down. we are prone to put it. This content downloaded from 186.133. the written word remains. masterpieces of the fully developed dramatic Dialogue where the protagonist is the Platonizing Socrates. In these works he still practised his perfected on Platonic chronology. seems to have thought with Homer that words like arrows could be winged things when aimed by the right man. Full of the power lent him by the life and teaching of Socrates.' but my reasons for more superficial. Plato reflected bitterly that words. it has no parent to keep it from harm. Litera scrilta manet. understood or misunderstood.

the Apolg. Aristotle's doctrine holds true that everything depends upon the begin- ning.130 on Wed. like Raphael. This content downloaded from 186. Plato's mind in this regard is quite simply expressed when St.the Pla- tonic Socrates. it seemed good to me also.243. and Music. Plato was stung into authorship. the Ti'matus. and this may serve as a reminder that. as for his life-work.133. Like Xenophon and others among the disciples of Socrates. most excellent Theophilus. having traced the course of all things accurately from the first. We might. . Indignation made him determined to record the most unspeakably important events within the range of his experi- ence. in f Plato.' inasmuch as many things that exercise our minds can be cleared up then and there. Plato as a Playwright 167 dramatic craft. . 7: o60KE7 -y rXov 4 iuoUv iraw~b t x X. For this reason Plato's last the Sophist. . In several of his Dialogues we find that the opening has peculiar dramatic interest." SEMth.. and leaving the court condemned to death? Most of the things that exercise our minds when we read the earliest group of Plato's writings are cleared up in the Apo/agy. the Statesman. x a roXXa ovaav rylhpaOas i a'rs snov rrrovusdvwv. before carrying out in practice a self-denyin which exiled from his latest works the dramatic figure Thus at the last our author abandoned his dramatic philoso wrote Dialogues which were in reality philosophical treati less of the kind still in vogue. the Philebus.jstor. losing his case. 29 Mar 2017 17:03:54 UTC All use subject to http://about. It was this unfor- gettable drama which made of Plato the dramatist of philosophy. Doubtless what others may have written gave him an additional incentive. had his third or Roman manner whic tinued by other hands when he was no more. which portrays Socrates as Plato saw him pleading not so much for his . og98 b. Nicomach. Oratory. the C the Laws may here be left out of account. What then shall we say of the dramatic interest of the first work written by Plato. forced him to portray Socrates as he knew him. and which was different from his two earlier manners as were Raphael's and Florentine works from his later ones. Luke says to 'I'heophilus. to write unto thee in order. "Inasmuch as many have taken in hand to draw up a narrative concerning these matters which have been fulfilled among us . in dramatic works more than those of any arts except Poetry.Yi.

excludes him from public a father or an elder brother.130 on Wed. 168 Louis Dyer In the Apology then we may safely s Platonic Socrates. the great positive element underlying super- ficial doubts and hesitations. the prefatory accoun ment put into Socrates' own mouth at t Perhaps the best indication that the Eu mides. in just the man produced by Plato. however. the Laches. and 18. and a7 B. and the Lysis must to be found by abstracting from the Ap can be filled in by details supplied in t represents himself (I) as so rooted in A work by identifying himself with the At tion. as his commission required. he gave what he had to every chance comer. an duty laid upon him by Apollo. (3) He never took pay. These are Plato's Soc which serve to illustrate. (4) His care for the right education of the young was the root of all his thoughts and actions.raro# Blos ot o SPwrbs dveptjvw. never made special favourites or bore a grudge against anyone.jstor. This content downloaded from 186. he was sting the body politic. 29 Mar 2017 17:03:54 UTC All use subject to http://about. with the confident e the right clue to the main drift and d works of Plato's first period. and he accordingly ent to the good men of Athens. E. We fin (z) narrated conversations (2o E) and E. C). taking no thought but talking in a casual and unstudied manner. it also requ family concerns. --the splendid quality which made him 1 s7 . but. 38 A: 6 8 d wd.2 (2) This discharge of his function m would not stand cross-examination. 2 Apology ad/in. and he had guida as well as in what he left undone. ' Appropriately enough the Greek inscription of Jowett's memorial tablet in Balliol College Chapel is from the A4ology.243.133.

The like is true of t where. All the above leading points are woven into th In the Crito the first of them is brought into prominenc two are especially emphasized. the 1 21 and 22. . Accordingly we now come upon a group of Dia- logues. but portraying him no longer as the only principal figure. 29 Mar 2017 17:03:54 UTC All use subject to http://about.. With some such general map of the realm occupied by which every reader can abstract for himself from the A whole drift of the shorter dialogues above enumerated bec understand. as Philosophy made flesh and wal the sons of men. Plato next undertook to put on a larger stage one of the most striking dramatic interludes of the Apology.for Socrates had no our strict sense of the word. In the Pro/agoras. Having finished these genre-pictures. old and young.243.the abstracted above from the Apology. while in shown the Master's subtle sympathy with the very youn realize that Plato's five earliest works might have been plann to convey a definitely intended portrait of Socrates at his all classes in Athens.130 on Wed.133. Plato now trusts us to give him due attention when he is treading the boards with men of great intellectual mark. The mistake would be to suppose means Socrates to lay down a special doctrine or to be alwa even free from occasional subterfuges and tortuous twists in It is not the doctrine of Socrates. along with the last. in the where the heaven-sent charm of Socrates is dramatically w along with his unstudied naturalness and good nature. still belonging to Plato's first manner and still aimed at portraying the Platonic Socrates. where Socrates is put upon the stage along with average types of contemporary Athenians. Plato as a Playwright 169 stand out head and shoulders above all his contemporarie . --it is the man Socrates wh portrays from the life. however.jstor.l where he discusses the oracle given to Chaerephon at Delphi to the effect that Socrates was the wisest of men. This content downloaded from 186. the disconcerting effect of Socratic dis grave and reverend seniors is especially marked. Having in the shorter Socratic Dialogues flashed innumerable side lights upon the leading phases of his great personage. foolish and wise. the Afeno.

This content downloaded from 186. 170 Louis Dyer Euthydemus. Indeed. But matters grow more serious when we see that Plato. having commenced Playwright in these shorter works. and the Gorgias.little more.jstor. his practised hand essays a series of Historical paintings. and with such typical " heavy fathers " as Lysimachus and Melesias. Socrates' more searching test. Apology. Anytus whom he holds ultimately responsible for the adverse verdict that condemned him. whose intellectual joints were always a trifle stiff. than a piece of Socratic mystification. indeed. and calmly braving the imlplacable animosity of Anytus. nor could the unfathomable superficiality of Euthyphro serve for anything but a foil to the Platonic Socrates. to achieve a harmonious setting for the portrait of his Master. the first of these oeuvres de longue haleine.' In these scenes Plato shows himself a master of the playwright's art. . where conversation no sooner began to run smoothly than the boys' Nurses intervened and took them home to bed.133.243. brings Socrates before us trying conclusions with Protagoras and Gorgias. rising superior to the practised tricks of Euthydemus and Dionysodorus. 29 D and 30 B. Plato's plots grow varied play and practice of his mises-e portrait of the Apology may be likened White. Now in the last among his dialogues of portrayal. without the light thrown upon It by the Aeno (90-94).. and contrast the almost affec- tionate account of Meletus with which the EJthlphro opens. and betrays for the moment a certain preoccupation with dramatic S223 A. The dramatic elaboration resorted to in getting under way the main action of the Protagoras is something new. in the short dialogues we have gen and we note successive efforts in dramatic construction which are Plato's constant attempts to frame his pictures. seems curiously pointless. The nearest approach to it has been in the Lysis. as we read the Protagoras.pology. where Anytus is singled out as the really dangerous and determined accuser. and it required no more than his prentice hand to enable Socrates to lay down the law about temperance. 36 A: This passage in the . where Plato lingers over the preliminary . justice and friendship in the boy-assemblies of Athenian palaestras. 29 Mar 2017 17:03:54 UTC All use subject to http://about.130 on Wed.. See also Apology. we look back almost with a smile to the Lysis.' It was easy to discuss courage with rough and ready soldiers like laches.

The new dramatic device most obvious and. intro as in the Lysis long before he brings him to where t characters are. The fruits of this we Protagoras. Corresponding to the enlargement of Plato's stage. since it made easy the numerous asides that call attention to the diverting gyrations of the smaller fry whom we see hanging on the lips of Protagoras. we have now.243. This. Plato as a Playwright 171 intricacies for their own sake. though. where Plato. in what we may call a Euripidean prologue. and was a means of bringing out by parenthetical comment the various humours and fads of the great men themselves. underlying his prevailing mood of Socratic portraiture. Perhaps. where this practised dramatic craftmanship i bearings. He made the most of this inven- tion for dramatic purposes in his subsequent period of authorship when he was portraying the Platonizing Socrates of his second manner. however. 29 Mar 2017 17:03:54 UTC All use subject to http://about. This narrative form was especially convenient for what Plato had momentarily in hand. the threads of a new and profound philosophy that carries us beyond the horizon of Socrates. a certain and minor dramatic value attaches to Plato's first use. least important in the Protagoras is its prologue. results in a narrative form dialogue. But apart from this it concerns us here to note the graces and the delicacies of dramatic resourcefulness lavished by This content downloaded from 186. f point of view. that he is in the act of completing his portrait of Socrates by bringing him on a stage where he will at least technically be subordinated to Protagoras. Thus we note that Plato takes a leaf out of E1uripides' book in order to announce. for we may regard it as a dramatized title-page useful as giving due notice that our author's stage is no longer to he monopolized by Socrates.133. Here is a beginning of what soon forces the Platonic Socrates from Plato's stage and brings on in his place the Platonizing Socrates. and Hippias. of the wholly detached prologue. These threads are inextricably woven into the narrated conversations so that we cannot attribute a monopoly of truth to any of the conversing personages. like a skilled .130 on Wed. who outranks him in years and reputation. Apart from this question of dramatic convenience. in the Prota/oras.jstor. lays his at a distance from the fort he intends to storm. Plato's new invention of a completely detached prologue has no technical importance. Prodicus.

but with a differen that Apollo called him wise. dramatically speaking The Gorgias is far less complex than /agoras. He was in earnest. the Protagora sion of Socrates. in the cosmopolitan atmosph man of the world. On the score of dramatic consistency mus a step in advance.133. while at the same time he reveal of far greater flexibility. though it comes after . This is cut sho encounters with Dionysodorus and Eut in the middle by further talk between round out the whole by a short conv brings to completion the notion of a D had plainly been working in his mind and the Lvsis. The full dramatic poss were not. and was spurred on by popula Socrates until he brought the laughers of its good fun. It has the same performed by the Prologue of the Pro This content downloaded from 186. w and thus we are prepared for the roarin enabled to get from beneath it sobering and almost dogmatizing Socrates. 29 Mar 2017 17:03:54 UTC All use subject to http://about. At in this dialogue shows that he is mas buffoonery of his antagonists in argum of their gasconades. The detache Dialogue with Crito.130 on Wed. even Shakespeare has h humorous characterization shown by P author betrays a Shakesperian quality that centres around Hippias and Prod day the truth conveyed in the Fren dernier. however. and a heart in fact of a far better man than the becomes. 172 Louis Dyer Plato in order to preserve the dignity o ance. For all that. realized by him u Phaedo which is. however. It is not wholly detached.

243. but so has the implacable Anytus whose short colloquy with Socrates in the lAfeno (90 B-D) is one of the most inimitable This content downloaded from 186.133. Socrates has grow of his ground than he was in the Apology as to lose no "know-nothing" note of the Platonic Socrates. He is su our eyes a change into the Platonizing Socrates of th immediately follow. The episodical character of may mean that Plato had not yet thought the questio this topic is more appropriate to the Platonizing Socr with it in the Phaedo and the Ph/aedrus. The celebrated Thessalian Condottiere pays a tribute to the wide renown of Socrates when he protests that he will not report in Thessaly that Socrates does not know what virtue is. It is a sort of flourish of trumpets to introduc Persuasion. The Afcno. clearness of . the dramatic form of which is therefore less comp its predecessors. but all Greece had its eyes upon Socrates. contains p the Platonizing Socrates in the short passage (8I C-86 the transmigration of souls and explaining our power faculty for remembering. Before turning to those works. In this interpretation. Meanwh Socrates pursues an argument in the Afeno which he had at the end of the Protagoras written immediately bef all this is the dramatic scene with Meno at the outset. we must consider the Afeno. Here are no satirical author "saves the face" of the illustrious Gorgias by keep most part out of the fray. and directness are the notes of work. Not Athens. as also he the Pro/agoras and the Euthydemus. and to Plato's sec authorship. 29 Mar 2017 17:03:54 UTC All use subject to http://about. figuring as the "understudy" of Go ity.130 on Wed. These characteristics are not allowed interfere with a half reasoned and half mystical amplifica of the almost sentimental idealism of the closing pages What was put there for the popular understanding is h sophically interpreted. Gorgias of Leontini. which grows rather warm betw Socrates and Polus. but was p we might treat together Plato's three historical pictures typical sophists of his day. Plato as a Playwright 173 it does not cumber our author with the narrative form fo course. which came between the Protagoras and the Euthydemus. too.

174 Louis Dyer achievements of Plato as a playwrigh a ready knack of taking people's char you a piece of good advice.133. postures. * Republic."* Socrates wi his cloak from behind. meets us at every turn in the Republic. This content downloaded from 186. Look out I to take away from any man somethin here in Athens it is a matter of r oth man. If we duly heed the only indications chronology of his works. 175 A. the Phaetdrus.jstor. 209 C. an effective because of the serried argum shine like so many familiar landmarks regions unvisited by Socrates in the f Socrates is most at home in just these own views and is often his pupil's mo more fictitious being than the Platonic in the degree in which purely philosop to encroach in Plato's mind upon the u dramatist.' or Socrates see and prominent eyes. Plato seems to have grown f shots. 327 B. 98 D.' The figure and upon us in detached traits.130 on Wed. the Theae/e characterization of Socrates. ? Theaettus. not to process .if a technical term may be less new." instantaneous glimpses such as t Socrates at the moment when his irons here in a curved posture. to be perfectly aware of the l.243. dramatic one ' Symposiunm.ct In the Dialogues of Plato's secor d ma the lead as in the earlier and shorter S that account. and the Theaetetus. th . 29 Mar 2017 17:03:54 UTC All use subject to http://about. SPhaatrdo. 6o B. dramatica out with a far more practised sureness period. he must be recognized Dialogues in question are the Cratr/us. * Ibid.

cAdXClid jrl no. The closing exhortation' of Cratylus. pp. s 44o0 D: (r& yap dor el Kail i K Klav IXetS. lPaeittrus. 'not of himself. He must have his fling to-day an he will go to a Priest to-morrow and .>e cleansed of the sion. 165. but at t the Platonizing Socrates is swept bodily into a discussio ing and use of words in progress between Hermogen Socrates is thus at the very start carried off his own discussion under the dispensation4 of Cratylus. There is.130 on Wed. t hvo?Tv rra b78. Cr the further enlightenment of Socrates to some future o holds him to this promise. 4 428 1.243. Astonis expressed by Socrates himself as well as by his interloc and confident way in which he gives an account of the language and at his reckless etymologies. 6 See Jowett's Introduction. 7 428 D. C. but for a very different dramatic purpos when he comes forward and pointedly approves of all said. and note I on p. to begin wit logue nor introductory scene in this Dialogue. 'You talk like says Hermogenes.133. See also 428 D. a most non-Socratic o the more conspicuous by the gullibility of Hennogene Gorgias in the last of the Dialogues of portraiture. urging that he is young and Dialogue then closes with Socrates and Hermogenes esc off the stage. 235 C. we may confirm the view2 that a new ser inaugurated by the Craty/lus. 166. 261 f. zo B and 25 B. This content downloaded from 186.jstor. 29 Mar 2017 17:03:54 UTC All use subject to http://about. and Socrates allows that Euthyphro has him since day-break. 3 The same sort of opening is used also in the PAilebus. 9 440 E: dX Ka c re TEa. and Philebus. 2 See note 5 on p. E. is background. s 396 D.6 This entirely new mood. but under inspiration from som mouthpiece of Euthyphro. Plato as a Playwright 175 to the Protagoras and the opening scene of the Gorgias remark in the Prologue of the Phaedo1I that Plato was ab of . w request that Socrates should give his best attention to 1 59B.'7 After an ex cathedra pron which he elaborates the Heraclitan doctrine of flux.n sA&O7r qrr. rpl airiv Kal os l d a CooCVOMa.

jstor. rat two other works of Plato's second period where a change of scene is brought abou without a break. and of Platonic thought with reference to th and the Eleatics. Sy).130 on Wed.--into the world of Pla The Cratylus gives. 29 Mar 2017 17:03:54 UTC All use subject to http://about. see Pater's Plato and lPlatonism s The Phaedo. 176 Louis Dyer Heraclitus.133. B. but also by the distan calm which Socrates requires' in order lutely unearthly by the setting of the place in the Alpine fastnesses of Pelo effect is quite as perfectly achieved. I16 B and 117 D. a prelimin manner. .243. ' Phaedo.a wor dramatic economy requires a specia new use of an old device emphasizes th insisting' upon a long lapse of time be of which it is the dramatic frame. and the I'arm * I need hardly say that there is no room in t 4 'haedo. T 126 B. 57 A. and its dramatic construction which characterizes the Platonizing So the first in a series of works designed the range of his master Socrates. E. 172 C. detachment of the Prologue is made is separated from the main body of t lapse of years. C. First after the Craty Plato's skill as a playwright shows all i sibilities of the detached Prologue used demus are developed with a new and the remaining Dialogues of Plato's seco Phaedrus and the Republic. drives home the impressi insistency by all preceding dramatic has been introduced into a different w actually lived. Here again Plato's sec I For reflections strikingly appropriate on t of authorship.mposium. . This content downloaded from 186. the Theaetetus.

The disenchantment of Plato. in the first of which. 4 392 D-396 C. After this rejec- tion of dramatic Dialogue on the ground that narrative is superior. Certainly the incongruity of attempting to throw the Phaedrus into a narrative form is self-evident. That the Phaedrus was not a narrative. in the Phae and Phaedrus retire from the frequented road. e. an Plainly the Platonic Socrates.he declares4 that a man who keeps himself in hand.jstor. In the Republic. For. note. as is implied at the begin Apol(r).g. we notice a change of scene from comparative s bustling and distracting surroundings.&pwos . will pick and choose and only omit "said he" and "he answered" when he approves of what is said. . 167 sujpra. Plato as a Playwright 177 dramatic workmanship. which rejects all forms of writing. we are scarcely prepared for the fact that Plato never again produced a Dialogue in strictly and consistently narrative form.everything but the living speech.' must serve to po in the dramatic economy required by the Platonizing So which best suited the Platonic Socrates. on Aristotle's principle cited above. where the cerned.130 on Wed. . This content downloaded from 186. merely shews that Plato the playwright understood his business and refused to be bound by the letter of a puritanical self-denying ordinance passed by Plato the Moralist. a conversa the brilliant bustle of a notable religious festival is con sequestered calm of the house of Cephalus. the Protagoras. alluded to already. --the longest of his narrated Dialogues.133. and quite See p.: in the ope Charmides. will be chary of repeating another's words as his own. the Lysis. 3 See p 166. " The Phardrus simply carries Plato's objection (of the Republic) to promiscuous dramatizing logically to its outcome. the Euthydemnus.' was most himself amid the everyday distract Athens from which Plato is at such pains to sequester t Socrates. But it is one thing for Plato to disregard the letter of his own theory in order the more strictly to observe its Spirit. Lr.243.6 as he does in the Phaedrus. ' 17C. 29 Mar 2017 17:03:54 UTC All use subject to http://about.dvp.' came after he had written the Republic and the Phaedrus. although written directly after the . conversin to the noon-day silence and shade of a plane-tree by t this.

fIo. in which is ridiculed. once. in particular his interest in dram have been unconsciously undermined. 136 E and 137 A. For he only produced two works of dramatic the Parmenides. f resources of his art no longer to charact ' 143 C. so to speak.jstor. On Plato's visits to Sicily.' that the w or its absence is a matter of no great mom Twelve years more or less of complete which Plato made his second journey to S the production of the Phaedrus. vol. 4 I at least am convinced of this by considerations such as those of Mr. slawski's chapter on "The Reform of Plato's Logic. their place being filled Here we have the strange spectacle of th skill subtly contriving its own defeat. in order to avoid repetition with a detached Prologue. since few readers ever discover that the major part of Parmenihdes formally violates the requirements of a narrative dialogue." " and the like. as far as may used once. he succeeds in most cases. he expun nouns of the first and second persons sing implying them. pp.243.130 on Wed. as he does u Theaeletus' and the Parmenides. In the short passage immediately preceding the sudden lapse of narration. Luto. J See p. 178 Louis Dyer another for him to indicate. followed b suddenly. see Freeman's Sicily. 1b 43 C. x66. pp." Plato's Logic. Plato seeks to hide his hand. 29 Mar 2017 17:03:54 UTC All use subject to http://about. * It has been remarked that the personal forms of verbs of saying so common in other narrative dialogues give place to narrative Infinitives in the Parmenides. By massing these marks of the narrative at the point where he deliberately proposes to begin to ignore it. 2 173 D-end. This content downloaded from 186. di'vat four times. In fact.' and the writing of th time Plato seems to have altered many v others. 363-415." What is more. a narration narrated. IV. without any such warning as h completely abandons the use of "said 1.133. In the Theaeefils at the which normally requires to be followed b dramatically drops the curtain and come he is going to leave out "and I . and dreg.

and yet we do not consciously wish to meet them again when the Dialogue is ended. Plato has entered thus into a region where personal characterization appears to stand between him and the truth. I9."' Such a conversation Plato puts before us in the Parmenides having described it in the Thcaetetus."' Such is the final term in the evolution of Plato as a playwright. affirming and denying.4 The Parmttenides in fact is Plato's last dramatic experiment.133.must be declared from the playwright's point of view. The gulf between this conception of philosophic argument and that of the Republic and the Phacedrus is wide. 4 Apoloo. where the Platonizing Socrates hesitatingly says: "I speak of what I scarcely understand. 3 Jowett's translation of Theaetetus. 137 D-166C. like Dante and Beatrice. 189 E and 90o A. II. Plato as a Playwright 179 but strains every nerve to blend into one two thinkers a personify little more than the play of successive phas Such is his determination to break down the barriers throughout this long and arduous discussion1 that obsolescent forms of the Dual and makes frequent Nothing of the dramatic play of incident and innuendo in his earlier writings now remains. upsoaring and." " Being " and " Not Being. 29 Mar 2017 17:03:54 UTC All use subject to http://about.jstor. 17 C. wider still the difference between "Being" pitted against "Not Being" in the Parmenides. s Paradiso.130 on Wed. . united by "La concreala e perpetua se/r Del deiforme regno.which must serve our turn as Protagonist and Deuteragonist in this most metaphysical of Miracle- plays. and Socrates using in his defense just the same sort of talk the Athenians heard him using every day in the market-place. This content downloaded from 186. . and his stage is empty at the SPartmenides. For a moment he dreams of a transformation of the Dialogue into a sort of disembodied con- versation between souls decorporealized.243. to lack personal effectiveness and reality. Metaphysically viewed no doubt these chilling abstractions are above all reproach and deserve all .nothing but th of affirmation and denial around " that which is" and "that which is not. but the soul when thinking appears to me to be just talking --asking ques- tions of herself and answering them." .

beyond whose ken even he was carried far. 29 Mar 2017 17:03:54 UTC All use subject to http://about.none apar Socrates. such as the Philebu . I80 Louis Dyer close. Empty it henceforward rem wrote Dialogues.133.243. Perhaps his prophetic vision r there was no permanent function fo of philosophic thought. long before his wor This content downloaded from 186. .130 on Wed.jstor.