Teachers and parents! Struggling with distance learning? Our Teacher Edition on Phaedrus can help.


Socrates (c. 470 B.C.–399 B.C.) was Plato’s teacher and appears as a main character in many of Plato’s dialogues, including Phaedrus. Though he left no writings of his own, he is considered the founder… read analysis of Socrates


Phaedrus is an Athenian student of rhetoric in his 20s, passionate about hearing speeches. At the beginning of the dialogue, he is mostly preoccupied with the superficial characteristics of speeches—especially Lysias’s speech on… read analysis of Phaedrus


Lysias is a celebrity speechwriter and speaker whom Phaedrus has just come from hearing at the beginning of Phaedrus. Phaedrus describes him as the cleverest of present writers. Though Lysias himself does… read analysis of Lysias
Minor Characters
Theuth (or Thoth) is an Egyptian god who is said to have discovered letters and writing. Near the end of Phaedrus, Socrates tells a story about Theuth’s discovery, ultimately disproving his claim that letters are “an elixir of memory.”
Thamus is an Egyptian king who appears in Socrates’s story about the god Theuth’s discovery of letters. Socrates has Thamus argue with Theuth’s contention that letters (i.e writing) are a revolutionary memory aid.