Plato's Symposium Essay

Plato's Symposium Essay

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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...


... middle of paper ...


...) 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.

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