‘Drama, fiction, and the elusive author’ explores Plato's use of dialogue. In presenting his works in the form of dialogue (direct or reported), Plato is detaching himself, as the possessor of philosophical views, from the views of the characters. Why does Plato distance himself in this way, rather than telling us what his position is? The reader is presented with the development of a debate between two or more people, and so with an argument. But Plato wants the reader to come to understand what is said for himself or herself. The reader is made to do his or her own work to come to understand what Plato is saying.