Teachers and parents! Struggling with distance learning? Our Teacher Edition on Phaedrus can help.
In ancient Greek mythology, the Muses were goddesses who inspired poetry, songs, and other literature and art. In Phaedrus, Socrates calls upon the Muses to help him make his speech, and he mentions the Muses’ inspiration of poetry as a praiseworthy form of “madness.”
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Muses Term Timeline in Phaedrus

The timeline below shows where the term Muses appears in Phaedrus. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Love and Madness Theme Icon
Socrates calls upon the Muses for help with his speech. He opens by telling the story of a handsome young... (full context)
Love and Madness Theme Icon
...arts as “manic,” “thinking madness a fine thing when it comes by divine dispensation.” The Muses represent another type of divine madness, inspiring poetry that educates many generations, whereas if someone... (full context)
The Soul’s Struggle for Wisdom Theme Icon
Rhetoric and Philosophy Theme Icon legend, they used to be humans who sang ceaselessly until they died—will bestow the Muses’ divine gifts on them.  (full context)