The Symposium is Plato's best-known work. It is now a seminal text, not just for the representation of Socrates, Plato's ontology, and for the history of ideas about desire, but for Athenian social and political history, the history of rhetoric, and for the image of the intellectual in Western tradition. It is also a high point in classical literary art. This book pays close attention to parody of modes of style and thought as well as to the provocative construction of the whole. It will introduce readers to the work itself by contextualizing it in Greek literature in general and the Platonic corpus in particular, and, with necessary brevity, to the main outlines of its reception and influence.