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Exhortations to PhilosophyThe Protreptics of Plato, Isocrates, and Aristotle$
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James Henderson Collins

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780199358595

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: March 2015

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199358595.001.0001

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Levels of Discourse in Plato’s Dialogues

Levels of Discourse in Plato’s Dialogues

(p.45) 1 Levels of Discourse in Plato’s Dialogues
Exhortations to Philosophy

James Henderson Collins

Oxford University Press

Plato composes dramatic protreptic speeches in which someone converts or tries to convert a person to a new way of living. Using the work of Gérard Genette, and in particular his concepts of extradiegetic and intradiegetic narrative levels, this chapter describes how, in some dialogues, narrative complexity allows for different attempts at conversion to be in play simultaneously, particularly through embedding narratives within other narratives. Using the example of the Platonic dialogue the Euthydemus, this chapter notes how stories of attempts at conversion may themselves be instrumental in attempts to convert a different audience.

Keywords:   extradiegetic, intradiegetic, Genette, Euthydemus, narrative levels

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