The dramatic nature of Plato’s dialogues is delightfully evident in the Symposium. The marriage between character and thought bursts forth as the guests gather at Agathon’s house to celebrate the success of his first tragedy. With wit and insight, they each present their ideas about love—from Erixymachus’s scientific naturalism to Aristophanes’ comic fantasy. The unexpected arrival of Alcibiades breaks the spell cast by Diotima’s ethereal climb up the staircase of love to beauty itself. Ecstasy and intoxication clash as Plato concludes with one of his most skillful displays of dialectic.