They lean too much to the side of farce; they have none of the tragic salt which gives a dignity to Tartuffe. They are, in a word, almost too enethistically comic. The contrast between these authors might lead us to raise the question long ago discussed by Socrates at Agathon's banquet Can the same man write both comedies and tragedies?

So I did as I was bid; and then he said, I was looking for you, Apollodorus, only just now, that I might ask you about the speeches in praise of love, which were delivered by Socrates, Alcibiades, and others, at Agathon's supper.

Mark the negligent ease of his gait, his neck's willowy curve, his languishing glance; these words are honey, that breath perfume; was ever head scratched with so graceful a forefinger? and those locks were there but more of them left how hyacinthine their wavy order! he is tender as Sardanapalus or Cinyras; 'tis Agathon's self, loveliest of tragedy-makers.

Such an event is probable in Agathon's sense of the word: 'it is probable, he says, 'that many things should happen contrary to probability. The Chorus too should be regarded as one of the actors; it should be an integral part of the whole, and share in the action, in the manner not of Euripides but of Sophocles.

Some raillery ensues first between Aristophanes and Eryximachus, and then between Agathon, who fears a few select friends more than any number of spectators at the theatre, and Socrates, who is disposed to begin an argument. This is speedily repressed by Phaedrus, who reminds the disputants of their tribute to the god. Agathon's speech follows:

She was the same who deferred the plague of Athens ten years by a sacrifice, and was my instructress in the art of love. In the attempt that I am about to make, I shall pursue Agathon's method, and begin with his admissions, which are nearly if not quite the same as I made to the wise woman when she questioned me; this will be the easiest way, and I shall take both parts myself as well as I can.

Unclasp thy lips; yield me thy close embrace; So shall thy thoughts once more to heaven climb, Their music linger here, the joy of men. Agathon resolves to cleave to him, but at this point Anteros, corresponding to Plato's Venus Pandemos, enters into rivalry with Eros for Agathon's love.

In others, none are well known, as in Agathon's Antheus, where incidents and names alike are fictitious, and yet they give none the less pleasure. We must not, therefore, at all costs keep to the received legends, which are the usual subjects of Tragedy. Indeed, it would be absurd to attempt it; for even subjects that are known are known only to a few, and yet give pleasure to all.

A similar force was arranged on the left of the second line for the same purpose, The Thracian infantry of Sitalces was placed there, and Coeranus's regiment of the cavalry of the Greek allies, and Agathon's troops of the Odrysian irregular horse. The extreme left of the second line in this quarter was held by Andromachus's cavalry. A division of Thracian infantry was left in guard of the camp.

This is probable, however, only in Agathon's sense, when he speaks of the probability of even improbabilities coming to pass. The Chorus too should be regarded as one of the actors; it should be an integral part of the whole, and take a share in the action that which it has in Sophocles rather than in Euripides.