Thank you for your kind words. As you typically open up many more paths than I can follow, our "relative" wisdom will have to be placed side by side in the way described in Symposium:
Then Agathon, who was reclining alone on the last couch, said, “Come here, Socrates, and recline beside me so that, through contact with you, I may enjoy 175D that piece of wisdom that came to you in the porch. Of course you found it and you have it, for you would not have come away without it.”
Socrates then sat down and said, “It would be nice, Agathon, if wisdom were the sort of thing that flowed between us, from the fuller to the emptier once we were in contact with one another, just as water in cups flows through wool from the fuller to the emptier one. Yes, if wisdom 175E is like this too, then I greatly prize my position alongside you, for I believe I will be filled with a copious beautiful wisdom by your side. For my wisdom would be ordinary, even as questionable as a dream, while yours would be resplendent and would hold great promise, young as you are; and this shone forth mightily from you, just the other day, and was put on display before the eyes of more than thirty thousand Greeks.”
“Socrates, you are being contemptuous!” said Agathon. “Yet in due course, you and I shall submit these matters to judgement on the issue of wisdom, resorting to Dionysus as our judge. For the moment, you should turn your attention to your supper.” — Symposium, 175c, translated by Horan
I think Fooloso4's
approach is a fruitful and rigorous way to compare texts in order to understand:
Socrates' own music consists of arguments, but that will not do for the many who need to be charmed. — Fooloso4
Without addressing the question of how much Socrates enjoyed the arts of the "many" (or the arguments in the Sorgner essay), I will observe Socrates is a character in Plato's plays. They are obviously more than plays, consisting of fixed characters being expressed through actors on a stage. Nonetheless, they are also artistic compositions. I have long found it interesting that Aristotle referred to Socrates as a 'moralist', suggesting that all the philosophy that can be found in the character is of Plato's making. That statement itself could be an urban myth shared amongst metics.
Continuing my suspension of how those dynamics relate to the arguments concerning the highest arts, I would like to make some observations about Socrates as a participant in audiences.
I start with the above passage from Symposium
given above. I can only presume that Socrates was one amongst the "thirty thousand Greeks" who attended.
In the Index to my old collection of the Dialogues, there are over a hundred references to Homer, thirteen to Aeschylus, fourteen to Pindar, forty-seven to Hesiod, four to Sophocles, and I am sure I have left out others. There are the countless rituals and festivals Socrates takes part in. And there is the beginning of the Republic where Socrates makes an aesthetic judgement upon the procession he came to witness. The guy was no shut in nor likely to plug his ears when nearing the Sirens.
This is a long way to say that Socrates is sometimes found playing a role that does not reflect his understanding and other times puts that into the mouths of other people. So he speaks in the voice of the Law to satisfy Crito when he just can't get it. (I agree with you that there is comic element at that moment). The wisdom Socrates reports receiving from Diotima sure sounds an awful lot like the arguments Socrates makes on his own account.
I will mull over your other comments.