Complete Story

FRENTZ, Thomas S.

Summer 2006, pages 243 - 262

Memory, Myth, and Rhetoric in Plato's Phaedrus

In loving memory of Janice Hocker Rushing

Operating within the tension created by two antithetical readings of the Phaedrus, I argue that neither view fully captures Plato's final word on memory, myth, or rhetoric. Using the entire dialogue as a model, I discover a conversational form of rhetoric as "living myth" that leads Socrates and Phaedrus, as well as readers of the dialogue, towards self-knowledge of the soul. To reach these conclusions, I operate with a decidedly spiritual framework, and argue that such a critical perspective may well be useful in interpreting meanings in other important rhetorical texts.

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