Written by: Plato

Date: c. 385–380 BC

Form: Dramatic Dialogue

Setting: Agathon’s house, following his victory at the Dionysia (a theatrical competition and religious festival, 416 BC)

The Challenge: each man at the banquet is to deliver an encomium (a speech in praise of someone or something) to the god of Love, Eros.

The Speakers:

Phaedrus: an Athenian aristocrat, part of Socrates’ entourage

Pausanias: lawyer

Eryximachus: physician

Aristophanes: comic playwright (wrote Lysistrata)

Agathon: tragedian, companion of Pausanias, host

Socrates: philosopher and Plato's teacher

Alcibiades: statesman, orator,  and general