GBT 2 Study Questions Pt. 1031. Phaedrus
1. What is the setting of this dialogue? What is the relevance of this setting to Phaedrus?
2. Why does Socrates think that the first two speeches were impious? What does Socrates
decide about his first speech, shortly after delivering it to Phaedrus?
3. Socrates pictures the human soul as a "composite" made up of what two animals?
Does that image still seem relevant today?
4. After death, how many years did Socrates assume that most souls spend in some other form
before returning to their original form? Why? What are the souls doing during this time?
5. Who is the one kind of man whom Socrates thinks can expect to receive heavenly "wings"
for his soul? Why? Does this right to you?
6. How does Socrates end up explaining the cause of "madness" in the soul?
Do you think there could be any truth in this theory? Why?/Why not?
7. In speaking of the body as the soul's tomb, what sea creature does Socrates point to as an
example? Does this idea have any parallel in the Bible? Does it seem like a Christian idea?
8. What Greek poet does Socrates quote when he gives Phaedrus an example of a "palinode"
(retraction) after his first speech?
9. Whom does Socrates say was probably the "most perfect of all in rhetoric"?
10. According to Socrates, what caused the cicadas (grasshoppers), who were once humans,
to forget about eating and die? What do we learn from the myth of the grasshopper?
11. In what sense do the orators write speeches "in praise of an ass"? In what sense should
the parts of a speech resemble the parts of a living being?
12. Why does Socrates admire the man who can see "the one and many"?
13. Why did Thamus lament the invention of letters?
14. Describe Socrates' ideal man.