Primary Sources

Plato. Phaedrus. Trans. Benjamin Jowett. Oxford, 1892. Project Gutenberg. Ed. Michael Hart. Web. 27 Jan. 2014. <>.

Jowett’s translation seems the most prolific online, and Project Gutenberg offers a free eBook version for many different kinds of eReaders. The text can also be read and searched online (using the Ctrl+F function on a computer) if you choose to read in HTML format.


Plato. Phaedrus. Trans. Benjamin Jowett. Oxford, 1892. The Internet Classics Archive. Ed. Daniel C. Stevenson. Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Web. 27 Jan. 2014. <>.

MIT hosts another online copy of Jowett’s translation and offers a text-only downloadable version that is easier to print or copy-and-paste than Project Gutenberg’s version. This version is the one I would use and recommend.


Plato. Phaedrus. Trans. Benjamin Jowett. Oxford, 1892. The Online Library of Liberty. Liberty Fund, Inc. Web. 27 Jan. 2014. <>.

The Online Library of Liberty is the best solution if you are looking to read Phaedrus on an eReader or want a PDF version of Jowett’s original text—though the PDF version, while beautiful, is image-based and not searchable. OLL also offers a free accessible version of Phaedrus that is specifically designed for assistive devices for the visually impaired. A word of caution—this version includes Jowett’s entire published work, The Dialogues of Plato, so you need to be sure to select Phaedrus from the other ten dialogues included.


Plato. Phaedrus. Trans. Harold N. Fowler. London, 1925. The Perseus Digital Library. Ed. Gregory Crane. Tufts U. Web. 27 Jan. 2014. <>.

This newer translation by H.N. Fowler is also the translation included in Bizzell and Herzberg’s anthology. Perseus offers the greatest amount of manipulation of the text I could find, especially in its elaborate search function. The English translation can also be viewed side-by-side with the original Greek. Clicking on a Greek work will bring up a translation and references to other places it appears in the text. However, it is impossible to view the text in its entirety at once, which is a bit annoying.


Plato. The Phaedrus, Lysis, and Protagoras of Plato. Trans. J. Wright. 1888. Archive Community Audio. Web. 27 Jan. 2014. <>.

I wanted to include this source because it is an audio version of Phaedrus, and also the only version of Wright’s translation I could find for free. Unfortunately, it is a terrible performance—it sounds like someone fed the text into a computer reader. LibriVox also offers a free audio reading, of Jowett’s translation (, which I feel is better—but not by much. For example, the reader pronounces Phaedrus as four, never-ending syllables: fuh-EYE-duh-russ. It gets old after a while.


Secondary Sources

Frentz, Thomas S. “Memory, Myth, and Rhetoric in Plato’s Phaedrus.” Rhetoric Society Quarterly 36:3 (2006): 243-62. Print.[1]

Kastely, James L. “Respecting the Rupture: Not Solving the Problem of Unity in Plato’s Phaedrus.” Philosophy and Rhetoric 35:2 (2002): 138-52. Print.

McAdon, Brad. “Plato’s Denunciation of Rhetoric in the Phaedrus.” Rhetoric Review 21:1 (2004): 21-39. Print.[2]

Miller, Dana. “Rhetoric in the Light of Plato’s Epistemological Criticisms.” Journal of the History of Rhetoric 30.2 (2012): 109-33. Print.

Murray, James S. “Disputation, Deception and Dialectic: Plato on the True Rhetoric (Phaedrus 261-266).” Philosophy and Rhetoric 21.4 (1988): 279-87. Print.

Noe, Mark. “The Oral Fixation: The Oral/Textual Binary from Phaedrus to Freshman Composition.” Rhetoric Review 26.4 (2007): 349-64.[3]

Rabbås, Øyvind. “Writing, Memory, and Wisdom: The Critique of Writing in the Phaedrus.” Symbolae Osloenses: Norwegian Journal of Greek and Latin Studies 84 (2010): 24-48. Print.[4]

[1] Thomas S. Frentz, in his article “Memory, Myth, and Rhetoric in Plato’s Phaedrus” (2006), claims that Plato suggests a conversational form of rhetoric as “living myth” in the Phaedrus that leads readers of the dialogue to self-knowledge of the soul. Frentz develops this idea by operating within the tension created by two antithetical readings of the Phaedrus, that of Griswold and Derrida, and embracing a decidedly spiritual framework that emphasizes the connection between memory and myth and rhetoric. His purpose in this is to expand critical perspectives to include spiritual frameworks of self-knowledge of the soul in order that this framework can be applied to other important rhetorical texts that have not yet considered such a framework. Frentz’s establishes a scholarly relationship with academics interested in Plato’s work and on the interrelationship of memory and myth in rhetoric.

[2] Brad McAndon, in his article “Plato’s Denunciation of Rhetoric in the Phaedrus” (2004), argues against readings of Plato’s work as one that praises rhetoric, claiming instead that Plato denounces rhetoric in the Phaedrus. McAndon supports this assertion by situating the Phaedrus as a response to Isocrates’s Against the Sophists, as part of a dynamic dialogue in which Plato distinguishes his philosophical method from Isocrates’s pseudo-philosophical method. His purpose is to interpret both Isocrates’s and Plato’s in order to analyze both philosophers’ conceptions of what the philosopher is and should do. McAndon establishes a scholarly relationship with his academic audience who would be familiar with the historiography of rhetoric, or at least the figures and principles of Plato and his contemporaries.

[3] Mark Noe, in his article “The Oral Fixation: The Oral/Textual Binary from Phaedrus to Freshman Composition” (2007), asserts that process-driven pedagogies in freshman composition silence the student writer. Noe develops this argument by recounting Derrida’s deconstructionist reading of Phaedrus in “Plato’s Pharmacy”—especially in his claim that Plato uses writing to deconstruct writing before it can deconstruct logos, embracing Sharon Crowley’s critique of process pedagogy as “complementary” to the current traditional pedagogy it sought to displace, and eventually linking these both to theories of presence that become erased in process pedagogies that separate student writing from students, therefore silencing students and making “it impossible for the student to write” (363). His purpose, though not altogether clear, is most probably to complicate established and flourishing foundational pedagogies for the teaching of writing in order to to upset the balance of power given to process pedagogies in the freshman composition classroom. Noe has a strictly defined audience of academics—and specifically ones familiar with deconstructionist concepts and terms; he provides little background into the charged nature certain concepts have in poststructualism (such as “the Father”), assuming his audience will have some familiarity with these precepts.

[4] Even though Symbolae Osloenses isn’t a well-known journal, this article looks to be exceptional and very applicable to our study in 593.