A literary analysis of platos symposium

platos symposium pdf

In this brief introductory passage, it is shown that the narrator, Apollodorus, has a reputation for being somewhat mad, that he is a passionate follower of Socrates, and that he spends his days either listening to Socrates or else telling others of what he has learned from Socrates.

The last--and most important--plot pattern or structural element in The Symposium is dialectic.

Plato symposium

We must look what kind of love is worthy of praise. Scholars of Plato may well, then, be guilty of having employed a misnomer when they speak of Diotima's alluding to the Lesser and Greater Mysteries. The remaining seven contributions explore varied territory: two early chapters discuss how the scene is set Zina Giannopoulou and how the first four speeches hang together as a group Jeremy Reid ; there are studies of single speeches Franco Trivigno on Eryximachus; Suzanne Obdrzalek on Aristophanes; Francisco Gonzalez on Agathon ; a piece by the classicist Radcliffe Edmonds updates our historical understanding of the Mysteries, with implications for their use in the dialogue; a final chapter by Richard Kraut challenges the orthodoxy that Plato is a eudaemonist and applies the lesson of that challenge to the analysis of Platonic eros. Pausanias, Erixymachus vs. That contest provides the basic structure on which the Symposium is modeled as a kind of sequel: In the Symposium Agathon has just celebrated a victory the day before and is now hosting another kind of debate, this time it is between a tragedian, a comic poet, and Socrates. It would seem that none of the characters at the party, with the possible exception of Agathon himself, would be candidates for love's companionship. The productiveness of eros in Diotima's speech is here understood, at least with regard to the pinnacle of the Ascent, as the production of happiness in the lover through assimilation to the divine. Aristophanes[ edit ] W.

He seems to do so when he speaks using meter, rhythm and harmony Others are pregnant in both body and mind, and instead of children they carry wisdom, virtue, and above all, the art of civic order a.

That their original condition is not fully recoverable need not make their aspiration futile; aspiration can do its work even asymptotically.

Ever since that time, people run around saying they are looking for their other half because they are really trying to recover their primal nature.

Platos symposium aristophanes

Homosexuality[ edit ] The speeches revolve around same-sex love, specifically pederastic relationships between adult and adolescent males. The introduction mostly exposition and scene-setting on the part of Apollodorus proceeds from the beginning of the dialogue to the arrival of Socrates and the decision to have a speech contest in praise of Love. The portrayal of Socrates in the Symposium for instance his refusal to give in to Alcibiades' sexual advances is consistent with the account of Socrates put forward by Xenophon and the theories that Socrates defends throughout the Platonic corpus. Apollodorus was not himself at the banquet, but he heard the story from Aristodemus, a man who was there. But for the future, Love promises the greatest hope of all: if we treat the gods with due reverence, he will restore to us our original nature, and by healing us, he will make us blessed and happy. Kraut, too, has a broad Platonic thesis to argue: that Plato is, properly speaking, no eudaemonist. From this, it can be discerned that the reason common Aphrodite is less acceptable than celestial Aphrodite is because a relationship based on physicality, instead of a mental and emotional connection, is not permanent. He sees love as only desire, and states that it is impossible to desire something when you already have it. From neo-Platonism to medieval mysticism, from Augustine to Dante, from Ficino to Freud, its major insights the identity of Beauty and Goodness; love as a set of progressive stages, successive rungs in a quest for personal immortality; love as a universal creative principle or sacred force have shaped western ideas and attitudes at all levels of culture. Since Socrates indicates that love for a person cannot be permanent, and will eventually lead to the love of knowledge itself, it should be impossible for to people to continuously love each other. The mythological story that Aristophanes uses to explain the presence and the meaning of love in our lives does not reveal the true nature of love as effectively as the philosophical inquiry of Socrates, but nevertheless it is an improvement over the previous speeches of Phaedrus, Pausanias and Erixymachus. Scholars of Plato may well, then, be guilty of having employed a misnomer when they speak of Diotima's alluding to the Lesser and Greater Mysteries.

A year after the events of the Symposium, his political enemies would drive him to flee Athens under fear of being sentenced to death for sacrilege and turn traitor to the Spartans.

Pausanias takes his turn.

Platos symposium part 1

Apollodorus was not present at the event, which occurred when he was a boy, but he heard the story from Aristodemus , who was present. He is inspired by Aphrodite Pandemos Aphrodite common to the whole city. There is a link between these two states, namely to have a true idea, but without knowing why without being able to rely in making reason. Nevertheless, the intellectualist position shows through in one of those hallmarks: "the desiring agent does not desire primarily to effect a change in the beloved object. Here, Socrates is belittling the love of people, as it is temporary, and praising knowledge, as it can be pursued eternally. First of all, Socrates contradicts the main reason why permanent love between people cannot exist in his own speech. The words of Socrates are the only ones to have ever upset him so deeply that his soul started to realize that his aristocratic life was no better than a slave's e. Apollodorus later checked parts of the story with Socrates, who was also there.

He concludes: "Love as a whole has He comes across as someone who cannot resist the temptation to praise his own profession: "a good practitioner knows how to treat the body and how to transform its desires" d.

The noble lover directs his affection towards young men, establishing lifelong relationships, productive of the benefits described by Phaedrus. However, he also admits that it is possible to desire to have in the future what you currently have d.

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Interpersonal relationships are central to many of the speeches, although Eryximachus extends love to harmony in nature and Diotima equates it to philosophy and Beauty. In conclusion, Diotima gives Socrates a guide on how a man of this class should be brought up from a young age. He claims that the desire for something is fulfilled and goes away once it is acquired. In effect, both speakers aim to impress Agathon in a contest involving sexual as well as oratorical one-upmanship. The speeches seem to agree that male relationships, particularly these, were of the highest praise, a practice in Heavenly Love. When Socrates is nearly done, Alcibiades crashes in, terribly drunk, and delivers an encomium to Socrates himself. Agathon follows Aristophanes, and his speech sees Eros as youthful, beautiful, and wise; and as the source of all human virtues. The epilog begins with the arrival of Alcibiades and lasts until the end of the dialogue.
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Plato's Symposium