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Plato's Symposium

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Plato's Symposium

Plato's metaphor of the divided line is essentially two worlds; the world of opinion (the

physical world or the world of becoming/existence) and the world of knowledge (the world of

knowledge or the world of being/essence). This concept is key to the context of The Symposium:

Love. It is important to note that as the speeches evolve throughout this particular work they

parallel this concept. Plato has, in this writer's opinion, reinforced his theory through the

speaker's by outlining the journey from the world of becoming (Phaedrus' speech) to the world of

being (Diotima's speech). This being so, Diotima and Socrates (the forms) will be the key focus

for which all previous speakers will ascend each contributing to the absolute.

In the opening this writer found it intriguing that Socrates had a habit of "standing still

wherever he happens to be." This suggested two things; one (in the world of the senses) he had a

physical condition such as seizures and knew when they were about occur and did not wish to be

ridiculed and two (in the world of intellect) he meditates before speaking to maintain a

metaphysical view point. Agathon suggests the latter in conversation with him. Agathon came

across as immature by suggesting that he could obtain what knowledge/intellect Socrates had

through the senses as well. Yet, he has quite a developed speech, thus basically understanding the

concept of the forms although not as apparent beforehand.

The first argument was delivered by Phaedrus. He states that "Love is a great God...it

inspires courage in which one would die for the other." Also he references both male and female

love. This writer viewed his outlook as one of bi-sexuality and...

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...) for each riser that you step on. I agree with

Diatima that this experience is ultimately the most meaningful of all the human experiences.

This writer was well aware of the sexual overtones that existed throughout this work.

Though, most of them involved Socrates in some way. What was most intriguing is that

Socrates' whole thought process seemed to be changing to be in agreement with Diatima. This is

very evident in the ending when he discusses the idea that writers of tragedy should be able to

write comedies. It was felt that this was a final reference to love; that is, love brings both

happiness and sadness to it embrace. As the story ends and Socrates goes to his home and bed.

This writer couldn't help but think that Aristodemus was a lover of Socrates and that Socrates

enjoyed physical love much more than achieving the love of the forms.