Capra, Andrea. 2015. Plato's Four Muses: The Phaedrus and the Poetics of Philosophy. Hellenic Studies Series 67. Washington, DC: Center for Hellenic Studies. http://nrs.harvard.edu/urn-3:hul.ebook:CHS_CapraA.Platos_Four_Muses.2014.
Appendix. Plato’s Self-Disclosures
A Discussion of Gaiser’s Interpretation
Laws 811b–e and 817b 
From this passage one can deduce that the laws of the city, or rather the Laws as dialogue, are being equated with the finest tragedy, which leads Gaiser to conclude that Plato is here referring to his own work: the dialogues are meant to replace poetry, because they are themselves a kind of poetry (or a poem of sorts). 
Phaedrus 274b–279c 
- That Plato’s Phaedrus could in fact, like the writings referred to by Socrates, end up in the hands of careless people is a very likely possibility, given that Plato’s intended audience is the general public. Whether or not we believe that Plato’s authorial self-effacement is meant as a preemptive move against such risks, Socrates does not make any exception: all written works are exposed to this danger.
- Socrates’ description of written works as a playful activity partially offsets his critique. Of course, oral speech is superior; nevertheless, playing with written words is a beautiful game. Such a game is the hallmark of a noble man, who, in his old age, can look at his written offspring with moderate pride. Remarkably, the end of the Phaedrus is announced by Socrates’ comment that he and Phaedrus “have played enough” (278b), which, once again, gives the whole discussion a self-referential air. 
- Proper writing is described as the activity of a man who knows and who is able to “mythologize” (muthologein) about the good and the just (276e). As Gaiser remarks, this brings to mind the contents of the dialogues: the Republic, for example, is undoubtedly devoted to the good and the just. We may add two important details overlooked by Gaiser: Socrates’ arguments in the Republic are repeatedly described as a form of mythology,  and the presence of myth, according to the Phaedo, is the defining quality of poetry (see below).
Symposium 212c–233d 
- According to Alcibiades, the twofold nature of Socrates’ logoi is maintained, even when his words are reported by other speakers (or by secondary narrators): the Symposium is clearly a narration of a narration of Socrates’ words.
- Alcibiades’ own speech is ridiculous and elicits the laughter of his companions, but at the same time it gives us the most detailed portrait we have of Socrates. Thus, his words, combining the serious with the jocular, are likely to have a self-referential quality.
- Plato’s dialogues are, for the most part, nothing less than sokratikoi logoi, the name given them as early as Aristotle’s Poetics. Thus, Socrates’ words are, in a sense, Plato’s works.
Phaedo 60c–61b 
- Socrates’ first mention of Aesop (59a) recalls passage b) from the Symposium, in that Socrates refers to the strange mixture of pleasure and pain he felt from the relief of being released from his chains. The two feelings, he observes, always go hand in hand, and one of Aesop’s tales on the subject might have been inspired by his envisaging a two-masked creature: the mask of pain necessarily follows that of pleasure, and vice versa. This also reminds one of the discussion of tragedy and comedy in the Philebus (47d–50a), where both genres are said to always involve a mixture of pleasure and pain.
- Socrates explicitly affirms that poetry, qua poetry, involves muthos, which is its hallmark and defining quality. Socrates himself, however, is not muthologikos, i.e. he is not able to create myths. This is why he merely puts Aesop’s tales to verse, thereby utilizing a set of easily accessible, ready-made myths. Nevertheless, the Phaedo itself contains new myths (one thinks of the Apollonian swan song mentioned at 84e–85b, and, in particular, the eschatological myth that concludes the dialogue) and may be construed as a kind of hymn to Apollo. Moreover, Plato is certainly muthologikos, and, being muthologikos, he is most certainly a poet, according to Socrates’ (i.e. Plato’s own) definition.
A Possible Objection
Reductio ad Duo: Plato’s Seriocomic Poetry
This passage confirms the idea that Plato conceived of philosophical discourse as a two-stage process, whereby the individual must first be purified before more constructive “food for the soul” can be administered. It is the second stage that corresponds to the “serious” side of Plato’s self-disclosure, whereas the first reflects the jocular. The very description in the Sophist bears this out: refutation is “most amusing to the hearer.”