This paper construes Plato’s dialogues as a post-theatrical mimetic enterprise that combines Socratic and Dionysian iconography. Playwrights (cf. Bacchae and Frogs) often toyed with the image of Dionysus as the patron god of theatre, whose Parthenon statue was visible from the theatre. In like manner, the Symposium’s celebrated description of Socrates-Silenus toys with the founding hero of the Academy, whose portrait was placed besides the mouseion, i.e. where the dialogues were presumably delivered. In both cases, the literary image of the genre’s patron mimetically points to, and plays with, an actual statue that was visible to the audience. Moreover, Plato’s Symposium depicts Alcibiades in such a way as to conjure up the beardless Parthenon Dionysus referred to by playwrights. Plato’s Alcibiades-Dionysus favours Socrates’ seriocomic logoi, which are clearly meant to foreshadow Plato’s dialogues, over theatre. In so doing, he playfully consecrates Socrates as the patron of a new dramatic genre, which should be understood in and against the tradition of Athenian theatre.

Imitatio Socratis from the Theatre of Dionysus to Plato’s Academy / A. Capra (INTERNATIONAL PLATO STUDIES). - In: Platonic Mimesis Revisited / [a cura di] J. Pfefferkorn, A. Spinelli. - [s.l] : Academia Verlag, 2021. - ISBN 978-3-89665-978-1. - pp. 63-80

Imitatio Socratis from the Theatre of Dionysus to Plato’s Academy

A. Capra
2021

Abstract

This paper construes Plato’s dialogues as a post-theatrical mimetic enterprise that combines Socratic and Dionysian iconography. Playwrights (cf. Bacchae and Frogs) often toyed with the image of Dionysus as the patron god of theatre, whose Parthenon statue was visible from the theatre. In like manner, the Symposium’s celebrated description of Socrates-Silenus toys with the founding hero of the Academy, whose portrait was placed besides the mouseion, i.e. where the dialogues were presumably delivered. In both cases, the literary image of the genre’s patron mimetically points to, and plays with, an actual statue that was visible to the audience. Moreover, Plato’s Symposium depicts Alcibiades in such a way as to conjure up the beardless Parthenon Dionysus referred to by playwrights. Plato’s Alcibiades-Dionysus favours Socrates’ seriocomic logoi, which are clearly meant to foreshadow Plato’s dialogues, over theatre. In so doing, he playfully consecrates Socrates as the patron of a new dramatic genre, which should be understood in and against the tradition of Athenian theatre.
Plato; mimesis; Parthenon; Dionysus; Socrates; Academy
Settore L-FIL-LET/02 - Lingua e Letteratura Greca
Settore M-FIL/07 - Storia della Filosofia Antica
Settore L-FIL-LET/05 - Filologia Classica
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/2434/879736
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