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Instructor: James Lesher. This course meets TR 9:30 – 10:45 a.m. in CW 103.

Plato’s Symposium and Its Influence on Western Art and Literature

Course Description: The goal of this course is to gain a detailed understanding of Plato’s philosophical and literary masterpiece, The Symposium, and its influence on later artists and writers. The first part of the course will be devoted to gaining a detailed understanding of the Symposium. In the second part we will explore the ways in which the Symposium influenced many later European artists and writers through the publication of Marsilio Ficino’s Commentary on the Symposium on Love. In the third part of the course we will explore the importance of the Platonic view of love and beauty for modern artists and writers such as Shelley, Freud, Thomas Mann, and Yukio Mishima. In the second and third parts of the course student reports will provide the starting points for our discussion.