Plato's Phaedrus - Interpretation Of A Platonic Dialogue.
Purposely difficult and intentionally obsessive, Plato's Phaedrus is an exceedingly difficult read that defies all conventional logic as a piece of discourse. The text is extremely subjective, open to interpretation and individual creativity as to what or whom the narrative is about. Written by Plato, a close disciple of Socrates, this text is set along the Illissus river where Phaedrus and Socrates meet for a day of speech, debate, rhetoric and okay flirting. Phaedrus leads of the day and recites a speech by his close friend Lysias, who Phaedrus considers to be a top speechmaker. Socrates then, after chiding by Phaedrus unleashes two speeches of his own that overshadow and refute Lysias claim so boldly that Phaedrus is so taken by the power of Socrates, that Phaedrus I think misses the point of the entire speech. I think the main idea of the Phaedrus is that Plato's purpose in writing the document, and using Phaedrus as an example of the reader of this dialogue, is to develop a mad passion to pursue wisdom because of the way Socrates hints, and later describes his definitions of madness, pursuit of wisdom, and critical thinking. .
For it were a simple fact that insanity is evil, the saying would be true; but in reality the greatest blessings come to us through madness, when it is sent as a gift of the gods (465). .
I think that one of the most powerful claims in the entire text is that of how madness is essential to pursue virtually everything, including Phaedrus" beloved wisdom. In the quote Socrates is not suggesting or insinuating an aspect of his lesson; he is not merely attempting to get Phaedrus to think, as he so often does in this text, but right here in this quote Socrates declares his love for the ability to be mad. The ability to want something so bad, so vehemently, is what Socrates flat out told Phaedrus, is nothing short of god-like.