Phaedrus


Read by Martin Geeson

(4.4 stars; 28 reviews)

“For there is no light of justice or temperance, or any of the higher ideas which are precious to souls, in the earthly copies of them: they are seen through a glass, dimly…”

Socrates and his earnest friend Phaedrus, enjoying the Athenian equivalent of a lunchtime stroll in the park, exchange views on love and on the power of words, spoken and written.

Phaedrus is the most enchanting of Plato’s Erotic dialogues (capitalised in honour of the god). The barefoot philosopher urges an eager young acquaintance – who has allowed his lover’s oratorical skills to impress him overmuch – to re-examine the text of Lysias’s speech in the light of his own exalted (and Platonic) vision of Love.

Not long ago this early example of literary dismantling was itself deconstructed by a contemporary sage - Jacques Derrida.

The present reader tries to present Socrates as he conceivably was: the chortling, pot-bellied ex-soldier, a flirtatious yet charismatic talker with a serious passion for Truth. (Introduction by Martin Geeson)

(3 hr 33 min)

Reviews

Interesting delivery with downsides

(3.5 stars)

Evidently, Martin Geeson's reading is atractive, given that it turns an ancient book such as this much more palatable, still, it comes with a price. He is very entertaining in how much comfortable he seems to be with interpreting the personae's reactions, but attentiveness to prosody and the dramatic aspect of Plato's dialogues isn't necessarily the same thing as being didactic. Other readers of Plato are much more accomplished in that sense, even if their results are a bit drier. The lack of indication in regards to who's speaking, despite the use of vocatives and the context itself, is sometimes a problem, specially in the beginning. Sometimes Geeson's mannerisms help but sometimes they interfere with the understanding of some passages. Sometimes he channels Socrates, sometimes he overreaches him.

Theatrical Reading by Martin Geeson

(4 stars)

Martin Geeson's reading of Phaedrus is actually superb. In the first few minutes, I thought that his narration was a little bit over the top and quite camp, however as time started to pass I found that he reads at a wonderful pace with loads of expression in his voice, making it very easy to get into the characters. It is well worth listening to this reading. Ever since reading Zen and The Art Of Motorcycle Maintenance by Robert M Pirsig, I have always had a fascination with Phaedrus. Philosophers that make use of the Socratic method (a persuasive argument presented in the form of a dialogue) always make for pleasurable reading, appealing to people who enjoy stories and plays.

All that was asked for

(5 stars)

I won't be going into the text itself, because I assume you know what you're going into by searching out for Plato. As for the reader, his cadence was varied and easy to follow. He obviously knows the work well and understands it. The performative ascpects of the dialogue are not in the least neglected, which makes it easy to pay attention to the flow of argumentation.

must listen

(5 stars)

I certainly enjoyed this classic texts - there’s a lot of content to be absorbed and pondered. The added guffaws, chortles, and snorts from the narrator adds a layer of genuineness to the experience. However, I would have appreciated a bit more pause between the dialogues of the separate characters.

My development of a philosophical soul

(5 stars)

I find myself amazed when I realized that the description of the time of judgment. The similarities are many and now I'm curious about the value added or subtracted from a persons life through theology.

Geeson is a Master Reader

(5 stars)

To bring to life a philosophical masterpiece, one written in 370 BC, takes imagination and talent. This reading is inspired and generous, much unlike some of the reviews written here.

accurate but annoying voicing

(2.5 stars)

the reader needs to speak naturally. he reads the whole thing forced in some variance of unnatural tonality that grates the nerves.

Brutal

(1 stars)

I couldn’t get through two minutes. Completely butchered by the narrator’s strange way of doing voices. Distracted and detracted from the content.