Let us first set the stage of the drama. The speeches were heard by one Aristodemus, who was present at the gathering but did not speak. He later retold them to Appolodorus, who opens the Symposium, who then told them to Plato himself, if we are to identify the unnamed friend of Appolodorus at the beginning with Plato. He later committed those words in writing. We, the readers, therefore learn of the substance of the speeches told at the gathering fifth-hand. Such removal in time gives the work all his flavor and helps it achieve the dreamy atmosphere that captures us so. Distance, because it defines an unknown place, translates into a sense of awe and mystery. This sense of awe and wonder generates authority. Authority is something we cannot fully grasp, yet recognize as real, affecting us in some way and, moreover, as something positive. Through a distancing effect, Plato introduces Socrates as an authoritative figure. From the very first sections, we know that we are about to enter something mysterious and awesome (something which rational science does not, and cannot trigger in us).