English Seminar “Life According…” Assessment II.1 (Plato’s Symposium)
name: _____________________________________________
 In a well-developed essay, answer one of the questions below. The strongest and
most compelling essays will address specifics of the text either in paraphrase or by
direct, in-text citation. More important than the number of quotations or elements
examined are the quality and depth of the analysis of the most relevant passages
that support your response.
 You may use your copy of the Symposium and any notes you have, either outline notes
from active reading and/or margin notes, in answering the essay.
 You may use spell-check and grammar-check, but you may NOT use the Google, the
Tweeter, the Facebook, the internet in general, additional texts, notes from other
individuals, living or deceased, or any other resources besides those explicitly
authorized above.
 Please type your essay in 12-point font or larger, Times New Roman or Cambria.
 When you complete your essay, email your work as an attached MS Word document to
Mr. Chang at hchang[email protected] and drop a copy into the Google Drive folder.
 The essay is due by midnight, Wednesday, April 1.
 Essays will be graded using the English Seminar Essay Grading Rubric for “In-Class
Essay Option #1
How does Alicibiades’ speech about Socrates connect to or reflect the earlier speeches in the
dialogue, particularly those of Phaedrus and Socrates/Diotima? In other words, how does the
relationship between Alcibiades and Socrates seem either embody or subvert some of the ideas
expressed in the earlier speeches?
Essay Option #2
How important is physical/sexual love in Plato’s Symposium? Is it crucial because it
preoccupies most of the speeches? Is it unimportant because it is left behind in the true “platonic
ideal of love? Is it something in-between? Explain with specific reference what role
physical/sexual love plays in the ideas espoused in this dialogue.
Essay Option #2
Explain specifically how each of the speeches of Phaedrus, Pausanias, Eryximachus,
Aristophanes, and Agathon makes an important contribution/important contributions to the ideas
featured in the speech of Socrates/Diotima.
LX points

English Seminar Assessment II.2 (Symposium IN