Among the most powerful and moving of Plato's dialogues, the Symposium is one of the greatest literary works on the nature of love in Western thought. During a lively dinner party, a series of speakers offer their views on eros or desire. Through jokes and flirtation they reveal their attitudes to love and personal relationships. Aristophanes, the comic poet, tells a haunting myth about our long-lost unity as couples; since then, each of us has been looking for love, and delivers a massive challenge to ancient - and modern - romanticism. Finally, the glamorous Alcibiades appears, drunk and supported by a courtesan, to tell us why he tried to seduce Socrates - and why he failed. Full of drama, humour and sharply drawn characters, the Symposium offers profound insights into gender roles, sex in society and the value of sublimating our basic instincts. Perhaps no other single work from antiquity retains such direct and immediate relevance for everyone today.