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The purpose of this assignment is to articulate a response to one point you found to be subject to criticism.



The Symposium

Raymond Williams “From Marxism and Literature”

Louis Althusser “Ideology and Ideological State Apparatuses”


In his


, Plato images a glittering array of Greek artists, thinkers, and leaders dedicating their time to praise the god Eros. In Greek thought,


did not just mean sexual passion but included any of the bodily desires such as hunger and thirst. However, the men at this drinking party are largely concerned with sexual passion. They also celebrate pederasty besides homosexuality. Athenian culture had developed a social system that encouraged relations between younger and older men, with which Plato disagreed. In

The Symposium

, Plato will wrestle with Eros’s power, subdue it, and put it in the service of virtue.

Writing Assignment

Using a Marxist theoretical framework, respond


to the following:

What can we learn from The Symposium

if we apply Marxist critical theory?


Please type three pages of double-spaced

Times New Roman

12-point font

One-inch margins

Include an original title

Include quotes so that I can identify what specific words or ideas you are responding to

Quote from both Plato and Williams or Althusser


Responding critically means you look


at logic, rhetoric, theory, metaphor, analogies, symbols, language, gender, ‘structures,’ opinions, beliefs, feelings, the mind, the setting (the context), the culture, and any other linguistically charged letter, word, or phrase to analyze a


word, phrase, topic, sentence, paragraph, speech, dialogue, quote, or short passage.

Begin by introducing the author, the title of the text, and a summary of what you think the overall meaning of the text is.

Then, as you move into the body of your reader response narrow your focus to the point you found interesting in

The Symposium


Remember to provide specific evidence from the text; don’t rely on routine responses (i.e. avoid saying or repeating that you found this point interesting without telling me why.

And when you explain why one or two points are interesting, take your time to develop your ideas.

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