For this act Achilles was rewarded and seen as a hero. When Socrates continually rebuffed him, Alcibiades began to fantasize a view towards Socrates as the only true and worthy lover he had ever had. Therefore this idea of sacrifice in the name of honor seems an invalid argument today. Apollodorus was not present at the event, which occurred when he was a boy, but he heard the story from Aristodemus, who was present. One of the guests was Porus (mythology), the god of resource or plenty, who was passed out from drinking too much nectar, and it so happened that another deity arrived, Poverty, who came to the banquet to beg, and upon seeing Plutus lying unconscious took the chance to sleep with him, conceiving a child in the process: Love. We are generally more concerned with gaining the respect of those who have an actual relation to us (Father, friend, acquaintance, etc.) According to her, Eros is not a god but is a spirit that mediates between humans and their objects of desire. Plato intentionally portrays some as ignorant and others as valid thoughts on the matter of love. In the Symposium, Pausanias believes that worthy and noble love should only apply to anything of the good nature. We are told that the beings grew to be very powerful and became a threat to the gods. Whether our motives for actions such as self-sacrifice or reproduction have gotten more respectable or less remains to be seen, but it is evident that they have altered since Plato’s era. Love of the mind, meaning a connection with another individual separate from the physical attributes, is the only good kind of love. The Symposium (Ancient Greek: Συμπόσιον, Sympósion [sympósi̯on]) is a philosophical text by Plato dated c. 385–370 BC. Yet on the opposite side of the thing we learn of Orpheus who was punished for his selfishness, because he chose his own life over the life of his beloved. Coherent Cookies Policy: our aim is customer satisfaction! One critic, James Arieti, considers that the Symposium resembles a drama, with emotional and dramatic events occurring especially when Alcibiades crashes the banquet. In The Frogs, Dionysus, the god of theatre and wine, descends into Hades and observes a heated dispute between Aeschylus and Euripides over who is the best in tragedy. “No indeed,” I replied, “but the same person who told Phoenix;—he was a little fellow, who never wore any shoes, Aristodemus, of the deme. Theirs would be the best possible system of society, for they would hold back from all that is shameful, and seek honor in each other’s eyes. Putting the two together then, for Love to desire youth he must not have it himself, thus making him old, and for him to desire beauty, he himself must be ugly. Love might be capable of curing the diseased. Alcibiades begins by comparing Socrates to a statue of Silenus; the statue is ugly and hollow, and inside it is full of tiny golden statues of the gods (215a-b). Our concepts of love and what is honorable now are truly different than those in Plato’s Symposium illustrating that the concepts of love definitely change with time. Eros is almost always translated as "love", and the English word has its own varieties and ambiguities that provide additional challenges to the effort to understand the Eros of ancient Athens. [citation needed]. Socrates, he concludes, is unique in his ideas and accomplishments, unrivaled by any man from the past or present (221c). Even Achilles, who was the beloved of Patroclus, sacrificed himself to avenge his lover, and Alcestis was willing to die for her husband Admetus. The irony in his storytelling is obvious (he praises the "confidence, courage and manliness" of males searching for males "and there is good evidence for this in the fact that only males of this type, when they are grown up, prove to be real men in politics" - which is highly ironical for such a critic of the times' politicians as Aristophanes himself)[21] Learn exactly what happened in this chapter, scene, or section of The Symposium and what it means. 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. The men include the philosopher Socrates, the general and political figure Alcibiades, and the comic playwright Aristophanes. Socrates then compares Alicibiades to a satyr . Perfect for acing essays, tests, and quizzes, as well as for writing lesson plans. It was thought that what Socrates said was what Plato agreed with or approved of. Commentary on Plato Symposium Socrates and Aristodemus will attend a banquet at Agathon, with Aristophanes, … "[23] Lovers sometimes sacrifice their lives for their beloved. First, he should start by loving a particular body he finds beautiful, but as time goes by, he will relax his passion and pass to the love of all bodies. Among the participants are the philosopher Socrates, the politician and military leader Alcibiades, and the playwright Aristophanes. In the Symposium, he backs off from his claims about the afterlife and instead reflects on the other, less direct forms of immortality a person might achieve. On the contrary, Socrates (Plato’s mentor and instructor) tells us that he believes love to be not as good as other imagine it. Socrates is renowned for his dialectic approach to knowledge (often referred to as the Socratic Method), which involves posing questions that encourage others to think deeply about what they care about and articulate their ideas. This evolution of love may be a characteristic of the concept itself. You can use our chat service now for more immediate answers. Does Plato's Symposiumseem to validate or to undercut Foucault and/or Halperin in the matter of whether people generally have, most places and most times, understood sexuality more or less the same way? Want to make sure we can complete your complex assignment. Plato's Symposium Plot Summary. So why then are the rights of the women less than that of the rights of the man if they were made from the same being? [24] The god of Love not only directs everything on the human plane, but also on the divine (186b). Penguin Classics. When Agathon and Aristophanes fall asleep, Socrates rises up and walks to the Lyceum to wash and tend to his daily business as usual, not going home to sleep until that evening (223d).[22][10]. Analysis Of Plato's Symposium. There were three sexes: the all male, the all female, and the "androgynous," who was half male, half female. [8], The Symposium is, like all of Plato's dialogues, fiction. The story, as told by Apollodorus, then moves to the banquet at Agathon's home, where Agathon challenges each of the men to speak in praise of the Greek god, Eros. 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. Socrates is late to arrive because he became lost in thought on the way. Finding the Good Life in Symposium There are a wide range of translations of what the great life genuinely is. Pausanias, the legal expert of the group, introduces a distinction between a nobler and a baser kind of love, which anticipates Socrates' discourse. Later on in the text we find a less dignified motive behind the sacrifice of one’s self for another from the woman who teaches Socrates the meaning of love. Socrates's discourse on love is the centerpiece of the dialogue and, in part, a refutation of Agathon's one-sided speech on the topic. Plato believed it is within that connection between two individuals that one achieves happiness. Furthermore, Alcibiades was wrong and Socrates knows there is no use in him (218e-219a). Alcibiades states that when he hears Socrates speak, he feels overwhelmed. This idea is upsetting to many because of the fact that the idea of female inferiority never seemed to be a problem for philosophers like Plato and Aristotle. [7], The host has challenged the men to deliver, each, in turn, an encomium—a speech in praise of Love (Eros). Love is expressed through propagation and reproduction: either physical love or the exchanging and reproducing of ideas. All the people who attended took turns giving speeches of what they thought about love and what its meaning really is. The party takes place at the house of the tragedian Agathon in Athens. [10], Apollodorus tells his friend a story of a symposium, or banquet, that was hosted by the playwright Agathon to celebrate his victory in a dramatic festival the night before. He believes that love should be done in a perfect way and that a person of such love would not be paid back in any way. Socrates responded that if he did have this power, why would he exchange his true (inner) beauty for the image of beauty that Alcibiades would provide. 1677 Words 7 Pages. This idea may be a basis to explain the need for humans to find one person that best suits them and their needs. Diotima first explains that Love is neither a god, as was previously claimed by the other guests, nor a mortal but a daemon, a spirit halfway between god and man, who was born during a banquet thrown by the gods to celebrate the birth of Aphrodite. He says that the god of love shuns the very sight of senility and clings to youth. I’ll try to restate for you the account of Love that I once heard … Love becomes destroyed when materialistic matter enters the picture. That is why in Plato love between men was viewed as a higher more pure form of love than that between man and woman because the desires of the body cloud the mind (Plato 145). Before Socrates gives his speech he asks some questions of Agathon regarding the nature of love. He is inspired by Aphrodite Pandemos (Aphrodite common to the whole city). These creatures tried to scale the heights of Olympus and planned to set upon the gods (190b-c). 201d-204c Quotes. It may be Plato's point to suggest that when humankind talks about god, they are drawn towards creating that god in their own image. Within each of the lectures given, Plato presented certain messages he sought to communicate about love and its effect on people. Immortality was an important theme for Plato, who offered several arguments in defense of the soul's immortal nature in the Phaedo. Eryximachus has the next speech (although he has switched with Aristophanes) and suggests that Eros encourages "sophrosyne", or soundness of mind and character, and is not only about human behavior, but also occurs in music, medicine, and many other areas of life. By dying for another they would be considered a hero. So he told Socrates that it seemed to him now that nothing could be more important than becoming the best man he could be, and Socrates was best fit to help him reach that aim (218c-d). Alcibiades spent the night sleeping beside Socrates yet, in his deep humiliation, Alcibiades made no sexual attempt (219b-d). No matter how hard he has tried, he says, he has never been able to seduce Socrates, because Socrates has no interest in physical pleasure. The women who were separated from women run after their own kind, thus creating lesbians. On one occasion he even saved Alcibiades' life and then refused to accept honors for it (219e-221c). He says that love is the youngest of the gods and is an enemy of old age (195b). Also, Apollodorus was able to confirm parts of the story with Socrates himself, who was one of the speakers at the banquet. The gods created sex so that once the other is found we may reconnect with them. Symposium study guide contains a biography of Plato, literature essays, a complete e-text, quiz questions, major themes, characters, and a full summary and analysis. Some critics have attempted to link the speech to Aristophanes's writings for the stage, but K. J. Dover (1966), in an influential article on the topic, argues that the origins of … Satyrs were often portrayed with the sexual appetite, manners, and features of wild beasts, and often with a large erection. [10], Aristophanes' comedy, The Frogs (405 BC), attacks the new tragedy of Agathon and Euripides, and opposes it to the old tragedy of Aeschylus. These problematic issues are represented when Plato creates a mind body relation that creates a separation of two inseparable beings. Also the ideas of actions done out of honor and respect rather than love also seems to be a dated thought. Love may be an ever-changing thing that adjusts itself to the society in which it exists. The Symposium of Plato. READ ALONG version at youtube 2:15:16 2) Overview of The Symposium of Plato A Platonic Dialogue by Katherine Stabile Modified by Philip A. Pecorino Aristodemus goes to sleep. Alcibiades is corrupted by his physical beauty and the advantages thereof; he ultimately fails to ascend to the Form of Beauty through philosophy. It is considered that the work was written no earlier than 385 BCE, and the party to which it makes reference has been fixed in 416 BCE, the year in which the host Agathon had the dramatic triumph mentioned in the text. You are About to Start Earning The symposium has its main concerns with the beginning, the purpose and nature of affection and care. The men include the philosopher Socrates, the general and political figure Alcibiades, and the comic playwright Aristophanes. Though he left no writings of his own, he is considered the founder… read analysis of Socrates Apollodorus relates to an unnamed companion a story he learned from Aristodemus about a symposium, or dinner-party, given in honor of the tragedian Agathon. Aristophanes states that after the separation of the beings that were like women “that don’t care for men and have a female attachment were sinful” where the men that followed other men were not shameful in fact, “they do not act thus for any want of shame, but because they are manly, and have a manly countenance, and they embrace that which is like them” (Plato 151). Then in the late 20th century, another interpretation began to challenge that idea. Phaedrus starts by pointing out that Eros is the oldest of the gods, and that Eros promotes virtue in people. The Symposium is one of the foundational documents of Western culture and arguably the most profound analysis and celebration of love in the history of philosophy.It is also the most lavishly literary of Plato's dialogues--a virtuoso prose performance in which the author, like a playful maestro, shows off an entire repertoire of characters, ideas, contrasting viewpoints, and iridescent styles. The dialogue's ending contrasts Socrates' intellectual and emotional self-mastery with Alcibiades' debauchery and lack of moderation to explain the latter's reckless political career, disastrous military campaigns, and eventual demise. the symposium, Plato has Apollodorus preface his account of the party with the revelation that he was not himself present at the banquet but learned everything that he is about to relate from Aristodemus, another follower of Socrates and first-hand witness to the symposium. Socrates then relates a story he was told by a wise woman called Diotima. Plato intentionally portrays some … [23] The speech has become a focus of subsequent scholarly debate, as it has been seen as mere comic relief, and sometimes as satire: the creation myth Aristophanes puts forward to account for sexuality may be read as poking fun at the myths concerning the origins of humanity, numerous in classical Greek mythology. The speeches started with Phaedrus who stated many of the powers of love. A summary of Part X (Section6) in Plato's The Symposium. As we learn from the legend, Achilles was a man who was rewarded for the value he put on his friend’s life. This section previews the story of the banquet, letting the reader know what to expect, and it provides information regarding the context and the date. 1951. Aristophanes then claims that when two people who were separated from each other find each other, they never again want to be separated (192c). Cambridge: W. Heffer and Sons [1909]. At the symposium (a Greek ritual banquet that includes libations to the gods, hymns, and drinking wine), Eryximachus, a doctor, proposes that they take turns giving speeches in praise (also called eulogies) of Love, or the god Eros. It is seen as transcending its earthly origins and attaining spiritual heights. [20] Next, Pausanias contrasts common desire with a "heavenly" love between an older man and a young man (before the age when his beard starts to grow), in which the two exchange sexual pleasure while the older man imparts wisdom to the younger one. For the male, to suffer offense in front of a lover translates into the loss of one’s masculinity and the inability to protect their lover. This double standard seems to also deal with a value of honor thus proving earlier attitudes towards value of honor to the philosophers of this time (Plato 101). The woman proposes that the main motive behind the sacrifice may be that it is a way to gain immortality” (Plato 89). First is the concern with the status of both the dialogue and the novels as fiction, i.e., with the historicity of the events reported. It is anticipated that the speeches will ultimately be bested by Socrates, who speaks last. From his mother, Love became poor, ugly, and with no place to sleep (203c-d), while from his father he inherited the knowledge of beauty, as well as the cunningness to pursue it. This may have been a valid reasoning during Plato’s era because honor was seen as great characteristic of a man. with EssaysProfessors, Tell your friends about our This is true for men as well as animals that seek an appropriate place to give birth, preferring to roam in pain until they find it. Pausanias concerns himself with a topic much like Plato’s guidelines in the Ideal Republic where he stated that honorable acts were only those that were applied to noble and just causes (Plato 139). Most people, he continues, don't know what Socrates is like on the inside: But once I caught him when he was open like Silenus' statues, and I had a glimpse of the figures he keeps hidden within: they were so godlike – so bright and beautiful, so utterly amazing – that I no longer had a choice. [27] By his own admission, he is very handsome. The pursuit of the other half is what Aristophanes calls love. The banquet was hosted by the poet Agathon to celebrate his first victory in a dramatic competition: the Dionysia of 416 BCE. Phaedrus points out an important point in male-female relationships that fear controls our actions. The noble lover directs his affection towards young men, establishing lifelong relationships, productive of the benefits described by Phaedrus. Socrates goes on to question what the nature of love is. Learn more about Symposium with a detailed plot summary and plot diagram. The only thing that our modern realization of love shows us is that people do change and so does their realization of love and other matters around them. The characters and the settings are to some degree based on history, but they are not reports of events that actually occurred or words that were actually spoken. People were judged daily on these good qualities and thus it was important in that era. This suggests that the characters speak, as in a play, not as the author, but as themselves. He confers great benefits, inspiring a lover to earn the admiration of his beloved, for example by showing bravery on the battlefield, since nothing shames a man more than to be seen by his beloved committing an inglorious act (178d-179b). Introduction The Symposium is a philosophical text written by Plato in approximately 386-370BC. In conclusion, Diotima gives Socrates a guide on how a man of this class should be brought up from a young age. The case of Athens is analyzed with many examples of what would be acceptable and what would not, and at the end, he makes the assertion that Athens' code of behavior favors the nobler type of love and discourages the baser.[23]. Analysis of Plato’s Relation to Love in Symposium The Symposium shows different popular views about love during Plato’s time. Being of an intermediary nature, Love is also halfway between wisdom and ignorance, knowing just enough to understand his ignorance and try to overcome it. We guarantee complete security, fully customized content and perfect services. Since Aeschylus prefers Alcibiades, Dionysus declares Aeschylus the winner. Many modern faiths and cultures believe that each person is originally a part of one being that is split in two and that their other half is their one true love. When Socrates is nearly done, Alcibiades crashes in, terribly drunk, and delivers an encomium to Socrates himself. Evil love is one that deals with the love of money, wealth or power. Translation and introduction by Walter Hamilton. Our aim is customer satisfaction have found their love partner at 00:25 diagram. Or beautiful but is a major element in this challenge be bested by Socrates, who was of! Why people in love say they feel `` whole '' when they have found their love.. 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