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Epoché: A Journal for the History of Philosophy

Volume 25, Issue 2, Spring 2021

Sonja TannerOrcid-ID
Pages 293-307

Trading Places and Parasites
The Metatheatrical Comedy of Plato's Protagoras

The Protagoras exhibits several traits of metatheatrical comedy. Through the use of role-playing and intertextual reference, I argue that the Protagoras exhibits metatheatrical comedy which Socrates uses to expose the pretension at the heart of philosophical dialogue itself. In this way, Socrates pulls back the curtain of philosophical dialogue to expose the theatricality of such dialogue and, in doing so, offers the audience a unique opportunity to laugh at ourselves.

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