The Symposium

by

Plato

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Aristodemus of Cydathenaeum Character Analysis

Aristodemus is the one who told Apollodorus what happened at the symposium, so it’s really his perspective that makes up most of Symposium, albeit narrated by Apollodorus. He’s described as “a little man who always went around barefoot.” The fact that he goes without shoes shows that he imitates his mentor, Socrates. Apollodorus says he was in love with Socrates at the time of the symposium. He isn’t formally invited to the symposium but comes along as a last-minute guest of Socrates, whom he follows everywhere.

Aristodemus of Cydathenaeum Quotes in The Symposium

The The Symposium quotes below are all either spoken by Aristodemus of Cydathenaeum or refer to Aristodemus of Cydathenaeum. For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
The Nature of Love Theme Icon
). Note: all page numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer to the Penguin edition of The Symposium published in 1999.
172a-173e Quotes

As it happens, the other day I was going to the city from my home in Phalerum, and someone I know spotted me from behind and called me from a distance. He said (with playful urgency):

‘Hey, the man from Phalerum! You! Apollodorus, won’t you wait?’

I stopped and waited.

He said, ‘Apollodorus, I’ve just been looking for you to get the full story of the party at Agathon's, when Socrates, Alcibiades and the rest were there for dinner: what did they say in their speeches on love? I had a report from someone who got it from Philip’s son, Phoenix; but he said you knew about it too. He wasn’t able to give an exact report. Please give me your account. Socrates is your friend, and no one has a better right to report his conversations than you. But before you do,’ he added, ‘tell me this: were you at this party yourself or not?’

Related Characters: Apollodorus (speaker), Glaucon (speaker), Socrates, Alcibiades, Agathon, Aristodemus of Cydathenaeum
Page Number: 3
Explanation and Analysis:
174a-177e Quotes

After this, Aristodemus said, Socrates lay down and had dinner with the rest. They then poured libations, sang a hymn, and performed all the other customary rituals, and turned to drinking. Pausanias took the initiative, saying something like this: ‘Well, gentlemen, what’s the most undemanding way to do our drinking? I can tell you that I’m in a really bad state from yesterday’s drinking and need a rest. I think that’s true of many of you, as you were there yesterday - so think about how to do our drinking in the most undemanding way.’

Related Characters: Pausanias (speaker), Apollodorus (speaker), Socrates, Aristodemus of Cydathenaeum
Page Number: 7
Explanation and Analysis:
212b-222b Quotes

After Socrates’ speech, Aristodemus said, while the others congratulated him, Aristophanes was trying to make a point, because Socrates had referred to his speech at some stage. Suddenly, there was a loud noise of knocking at the front door, which sounded like revelers, and they heard the voice of a flute-girl.

‘Slaves, go and see who it is,’ Agathon said. ‘If it’s any of my friends, invite them in; if not, tell them the symposium’s over and we’re just now going to bed.’ Not long after, they heard the voice of Alcibiades in the courtyard; he was very drunk and was shouting loudly, asking where Agathon was and demanding to be brought to him. He was brought in, supported by the flute-girl and some of the other people in his group. He stood by the door, wearing a thick garland of ivy and violets, with masses of ribbons trailing over his head…

Related Characters: Agathon (speaker), Apollodorus (speaker), Socrates, Alcibiades, Aristophanes, Aristodemus of Cydathenaeum
Page Number: 50
Explanation and Analysis:
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Aristodemus of Cydathenaeum Character Timeline in The Symposium

The timeline below shows where the character Aristodemus of Cydathenaeum appears in The Symposium. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
172a-173e
The Nature of Love Theme Icon
The Ascent to Immortality Theme Icon
...the first tragedy he had written. Apollodorus heard about the party from a man named Aristodemus who was in love with Socrates at the time. Aristodemus had suggested that he relay... (full context)
174a-177e
Sobriety, Restraint, and Wisdom Theme Icon
The narrative now shifts to Aristodemus’s point of view. When Aristodemus comes across Socrates, he sees that Socrates has bathed and... (full context)
Sobriety, Restraint, and Wisdom Theme Icon
As Aristodemus and Socrates continue on their way to Agathon’s, Socrates keeps dropping behind. He tells Aristodemus... (full context)
222c-223d
The Nature of Love Theme Icon
Sobriety, Restraint, and Wisdom Theme Icon
The Ascent to Immortality Theme Icon
...party, “all order was abandoned,” and “everyone was forced to drink vast amounts of wine.” Aristodemus says that he fell asleep, and when he awoke the next morning, he saw Socrates,... (full context)