By Geoffrey M. Batchelder
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Additional resources for Moral corruption and philosophic education in Plato's ''Phaedrus''.
Nowhere in the speech has Lysias ever shown that love really is a disease with the various specific symptoms he attributes to it, but he baldly asserts it ad nauseam, as though sheer repetition would somehow make it true. 51 Here he merely recapitulates his established pattern of rhetorically balanced contrast: the lover is bad and to be feared, but the non-lover is good and to be trusted. This summary emphasizes blame, an issue not germane in evaluating moral worth, further illustrating that Lysias's focus is on reputation and opinion, not any real pros or cons of love itself.
44 The long but vital paragraph 9 falls in the middle of the speech, and is its very heart and soul, not just because of its position, but also for its content. Furthermore, if you have lingering fears, and believe that it's hard for friendship to last, and that, although, should a breakup occur under other circumstances the misfortune would fall to both parties mutually, since you have surrendered what you value most you will be the one seriously injured, it is natural that you would have a greater fear of those in love.
This dramatic economy gives a thematic unity to the dialogue that would not be possible without the Eroticus exemplifying the corruptive power of sophistic rhetoric. 9 234b7-c4. 23 As Lysias represents the sophists, Phaedrus represents Everyman, the typical Athenian citizen,10 so one need not insist too firmly on the historicity of either character. The Eroticus has seduced Phaedrus and persuaded him that its thesis is true, that it really is better to favor nonlovers than lovers. 11 Corruption, Seduction, and Innuendo This chapter sets aside the subject of cures to focus on corruption.
Moral corruption and philosophic education in Plato's ''Phaedrus''. by Geoffrey M. Batchelder