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Episode credited cast:
Alan Bennett ... Eryximachus
John Fortune ... Phaedrus
Robert Gillespie ... Alcibiades
Michael Gough ... Pausanias
Julian Jebb Julian Jebb ... Aristodemus
Barry Justice ... Agathon
Roddy Maude-Roxby Roddy Maude-Roxby ... Aristophanes
Leo McKern ... Socrates
Darroll Richards Darroll Richards ... Walter


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Release Date:

14 November 1965 (UK) See more »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


Banchetto Musicale
by Johann Hermann Schein
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User Reviews

A Brilliant Introduction to Philosophy
8 March 2003 | by Mentor-2See all my reviews

This brilliant introduction to philosophy should be required viewing for all new university students, and, indeed, anyone at all interested in philosophy.

In the first part, Jonathan Miller plays Plato's "Symposium" as a picnic organized by an OxBridge don for his students. The entertaining script is faithful to the drinking party recorded by Plato, where Socrates asks each guest to explain the nature of Love. By a series of questions, Socrates leads the guests to conclude that Love is the Highest Good, and that God is Love. This Socratic dialogue may be said to be the basis for Western Philosophy.

The second part covers the last Socratic dialogues, "the Crito" and "the Phaedo," concerning the execution of Socrates for "impiety" and "misleading the young." Miller sets this in a Soviet block prison. Socrates' students come to plead with him to escape. Socrates leads them to understand why this would violate the integrity of his beliefs, and be worse than death.

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