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The Play of Character in Plato's Dialogues (Hardback)
  • The Play of Character in Plato's Dialogues (Hardback)
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The Play of Character in Plato's Dialogues (Hardback)

(author)
£88.00
Hardback 466 Pages / Published: 27/06/2002
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This book attempts to bridge the gulf that still exists between 'literary' and 'philosophical' interpreters of Plato by looking at his use of characterization. Characterization is intrinsic to dramatic form and a concern with human character in an ethical sense pervades the dialogues on the discursive level. Form and content are further reciprocally related through Plato's discursive preoccupation with literary characterization. Two opening chapters examine the methodological issues involved in reading Plato 'as drama' and a set of questions surrounding Greek 'character' words (especially ethos), including ancient Greek views about the influence of dramatic character on an audience. The figure of Sokrates qua Platonic 'hero' also receives preliminary discussion. The remaining chapters offer close readings of select dialogues, chosen to show the wide range of ways in which Plato uses his characters, with special emphasis on the kaleidoscopic figure of Sokrates and on Plato's own relationship to his 'dramatic' hero.

Publisher: Cambridge University Press
ISBN: 9780521793001
Number of pages: 466
Weight: 850 g
Dimensions: 229 x 152 x 30 mm


MEDIA REVIEWS
'Ruby Blondell provides a thoroughly researched, intelligently conceived, and well written book which addresses the specific manners in which Plato wrestles with and carries out this very complex task ... Blondell has contributed an impressive piece of scholarship worthy of close and considered attention.' Jill Gordon, Colby College
'... a thoroughly researched, intelligently conceived, and well written book ... What she presents really is a new approach to understanding the evidence one is presented with in Plato's dialogues ... Blondell has contributed an impressive piece of scholarship worthy of close and considered attention.' Jill Gordon, Ancient Philosophy
'... invigorating ... a welcome addition [an] excellent book ... [its] insights do shed real and new light on the dramatic composition of the dialogues ... the book will certainly be important in the debate about Platonic form and content.' M. M. McCabe, The Times Literary Supplement
'... important, stimulating.' Myles Burnyeat, London Review of Books
'What is especially pleasing about Blondell's book is that it puts its case so directly and clearly, as well as forcefully. I suggest that it should be treated as foundational for (so-called) literary interpretation of Plato.' Christopher Rowe, Phronesis
'... this is a detailed and complex study of characterization containing many excellent individual observations.' Journal of Hellenic Studies
"Blondell has produced a fine study of Plato's use of characterization, one that must be reckoned with--and will be read with pleasure--by all serious students of the dialogues." Bryn Mawr Classical Review
"How are we to understand that Plato, the champion of transcendent and impersonal ideals, is also a brilliant depicter of human individuality? Blondell confronts this paradox in the most comprehensive and insightful treatment available of Plato's representation of human character.... highly recommended for college and university libraries; for upper-level undergraduates and above." Choice
"...rich and insightful...What to some Plato scholars was an exasperating and perplexing doctrine is productively contextualized by Blondell. We can now read Theaetetus with richer understanding than before. What more can one ask of scholarship?...Blondell has given us a narrative of Platonic development that...allows us to read the Platonic corpus in a way that makes sense of its many parts...we have a new perspective on Plato, a deeper appreciation than before of his commingling of literary power and philosophical wisdom." New England Classical Journal
"An impressive piece of scholarship worthy of close and considered attention." Ancient Philosophy
"B. has produced a richly detailed and complex study of an aspect of the dialogues which is often overlooked and her book is a valuable contribution to Platonic scholarship." - Tania Gergel, King's College London

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