Plato was generally skeptical about poetry, and we find expression of this mistrust in Socrates’ sarcastic remark to Agathon about his great wisdom. Tragedy purports to lay wisdom upon great crowds of people and immediately. As this dialogue and its framing devices suggest, Plato is of a mind that wisdom is something that must be worked toward, not something that can be easily given. Socrates suggests that wisdom is not something one can gain by osmosis, simply by sitting near someone wiser than oneself. Implicit in this suggestion is the claim that tragedy does not transmit wisdom, and that only careful philosophical thinking can be a successful teacher. 

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