The Practice of soul-leading by means of rhetoric and myth in Plato’s Phaedrus

Kanıyaş, Ali Nejat
This study aims at explaining the fundamental use or the function of mythic imagery that take place within the Phaedrus dialogue by Plato. The Platonic dialogues have utilized myths and poetic language in many instances, yet Phaedrus constitutes a rather strange case, since the mythic imagery is placed within a section that seemingly has no ties with the rest of the dialogue. The curious case of Phaedrus is that the text can be said to have been divided into two distinct parts. In each part, the theme and the textual structure display certain substantial differences. As it has been observed throughout many generations of scholars, the first half of the dialogue is a series of discussions on the nature of love. The mythic imagery occupies a substantial place within the context of those accounts of love. The second half of the dialogue, however, is almost exclusively reserved for the art of rhetoric. As this study demonstrates there have been numerous attempts at uniting these two halves of the dialogue. This thesis attempts to give another account for the case of a unified dialogue, and argues that the element that bridges the two halves of the dialogue is the notion of “soul-leading”.


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Citation Formats
A. N. Kanıyaş, “The Practice of soul-leading by means of rhetoric and myth in Plato’s Phaedrus,” M.S. - Master of Science, Middle East Technical University, 2018.