Platos symposium summary

The speech of love by phaedrus in platos symposium

platos symposium summary

An analysis of platos argument for a just life

Pausanias edit pausanias, the legal expert of the group, introduces a distinction between a nobler and a baser kind of love, which anticipates Socrates' discourse. The base lover is in search of sexual gratification, and his objects are women and boys. He is inspired by Aphrodite pandemos (Aphrodite common to the whole city). The noble lover directs his affection towards young men, establishing lifelong relationships, productive of the benefits described by Phaedrus. This love is related to Aphrodite Urania (heavenly Aphrodite and is based on honoring one's partners intelligence and wisdom. He then analyses the attitudes of different citystates relative to homosexuality. The first distinction he makes is between the cities that clearly establish what is and what is not admitted, and those that are not so explicitly clear, like athens.

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Eryximachus (speech begins 186a a physician. Aristophanes (speech begins 189c the writing eminent comic playwright. Agathon (speech begins 195a a tragic poet, host of the banquet, that celebrates the triumph of his first tragedy. Socrates (speech begins 201d the eminent philosopher and Plato's teacher. Alcibiades (speech begins 214e a prominent Athenian statesman, orator and general. The speeches edit Phaedrus edit Phaedrus opens by citing Hesiod, acusilaus and Parmenides for the claim that Eros is the oldest of the gods. 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). "A handful of such men, fighting side by side, would defeat practically the whole world." 22 lovers sometimes sacrifice their lives for their beloved. As evidence for this he mentions some mythological heroes and lovers. Even Achilles, who was the beloved of Patroclus, sacrificed himself to avenge his lover, and Alcestis was willing to die for her husband Admetus. Phaedrus concludes his short speech in proper rhetorical fashion, reiterating his statements that love is one of the most ancient gods, the most honoured, the most powerful in helping men gain honor and blessedness and sacrificing one's self for love will result in rewards from.

Aristodemus goes to sleep. When he wakes up the next morning Socrates is still talking and debating. Soon everyone at last professional falls asleep, as Socrates rises up and goes off to tend to his daily business as usual. 20 10 In order to understand Plato more clearly, it is useful to bear in mind his theory of Forms, according to which all the phenomena perceived by the senses are imitations of eternal and perfect Forms that alone have reality. Beauty belongs to this category of Forms. 10 Participants edit The dialogue's seven major speeches are delivered by: Phaedrus (speech begins 178a 21 was an Athenian aristocrat associated with the inner-circle of the philosopher Socrates, familiar from Phaedrus and other dialogues. Pausanias (speech begins 180c the legal expert.

platos symposium summary

An analysis of platos argument for a just life - azzurra

According to thesis her, Eros is not a god, but is a spirit that mediates between humans and their objects of desire. Love itself is not wise or beautiful, but is the desire for those things. Love is expressed through propagation and reproduction: either physical love or the exchanging and reproducing of ideas. The greatest knowledge, diotima says, is knowledge of the form of beauty, which humans must try to achieve. When Socrates is nearly done, dionysus, who is to judge the speeches, arrives, in the person of Alcibiades. Alcibiades crashes in, terribly drunk, and delivers a encomium to socrates himself. No matter how hard he has tried, he says, he has never been able to seduce socrates, writing because socrates has no interest in physical pleasure. Under the influence of dionysus, who is now in attendance, the party becomes wild and drunken.

Phaedrus starts by pointing out that Eros is the oldest of the gods, and that Eros promotes virtue in people. Pausanias is next, and he contrasts common desire with a heavenly love in the form of pederasty, which occurs between a man and a young boy; and in which the boy gives sexual pleasure, and in return gains knowledge and virtue. Next Eryximachus speaks, 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. Next is Aristophanes, the comic playwright. Aristophanes tells a fantastical, mythological story about how humans were at one time twice the people that they are now, but this was seen as threatening to the gods, so zeus cut everyone in half. And ever since, humans go about in search of their other half, in order to become whole. Agathon, the host, follows Aristophanes, and his speech sees Eros as youthful, beautiful, and wise; and as the source of all human virtues. Socrates asks questions of Agathon: has he referred to the object of love, or love itself? Socrates then relates a story he was told by a wise woman called diotima.

Platos Theory of Ideas (or Forms) notes from

platos symposium summary

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10 Opening narrative edit The story of the banquet is narrated by Apollodorus, but before the narration proper begins, it is shown that Apollodorus is telling the story to a friend of his that isnt named, and also that the story of this banquet has. 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. The banquet was hosted by the poet Agathon to celebrate his first victory in a dramatic competition: the dionysia of 416 bce. Apollodorus was not present at the event, which occurred when he was a boy, but he heard the story from Aristodemus, who was present. Apollodorus later checked parts of the story with Socrates, who was also there. 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. The story, as told by Apollodorus, then moves to the banquet at Agathons home, where Agathon challenges each of the men to speak in praise of the Greek god, Eros.

10 Synopsis edit Apollodorus tells to 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. Socrates is late to arrive, after he became lost in thought on the porch of a nearby neighbor. When they are done eating, Eryximachus takes the suggestion made self by Phaedrus, that they should all make a speech in praise of Eros, the god of love and desire. It will be a competition of speeches to be judged by dionysus. It is anticipated that the speeches will ultimately be bested by socrates, who speaks last.

14 A story that Socrates narrates, when it is his turn to speak, was told to socrates by a woman named diotima, a philosopher and a priestess. 10 The symposium as a response to Aristophanes edit In The Frogs, aristophanes attacks the new tragedy of Agathon and Euripides, opposing it to the old tragedy of Aeschylus. In Aristophanes comedy, 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. Dionysus is engaged to be the judge, and decides the outcome, not based on the merits of the two tragedians, but based on their political stance regarding the political figure, alcibiades. Since aeschylus prefers Alcibiades, dionysus declares Aeschylus the winner. 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,.


At the beginning of the symposium Agathon asserts that dionysus will be the judge, and dionysus is, though Alcibiades performs as surrogate for the god. So the character, Alcibiades, who was the deciding factor in the debate in The Frogs, becomes the judge in the symposium, and he now rules in favor of Socrates, who had been attacked by Aristophanes in The Frogs. The symposium is a response to The Frogs, and shows Socrates winning not only over Aristophanes, who was the author of The Frogs, but also over the tragic poet who was portrayed in that comedy as the victor. Historical context edit 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. The disastrous expedition to syracuse, of which Alcibiades was a commander, took place the following year 18, after which Alcibiades deserted to Sparta, athens ' archenemy. Hamilton remarks that Plato takes care to portray alcibiades and Socrates and their relationship in a way that makes it clear that Socrates had not been a bad influence on Alcibiades. Plato does this to free his teacher from the guilt of corrupting the minds of prominent youths, which had in fact earned Socrates the death sentence in 399.

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This theory, arieti has found, essay reveals how much each of the speakers of the symposium resembles the god, Eros, that they each are describing. It may be Platos point to suggest that when humankind talks about proposal god, they are drawn towards creating that god in their own image. 12 Andrew Dalby considers the opening pages of the symposium the best depiction in any ancient Greek source of the way texts are transmitted by oral tradition without writing. It shows how an oral text may have no simple origin, and how it can be passed along by repeated tellings, and by different narrators, and how it can be sometimes verified, and sometimes corrupted. 13 The story of the symposium is being told by Apollodorus to his friend. Apollodorus was not himself at the banquet, but he heard the story from Aristodemus, a man who was there. Also, apollodorus was able to confirm parts of the story with Socrates himself, who was one of the speakers at the banquet.

platos symposium summary

The reader, understanding that Plato was not governed by the historical record, can read the symposium, and ask why the author, Plato, arranged the story the way he did, and what he meant by including the various aspects of setting, composition, characters, and theme, etc. 9 10 For a very long time it was widely believed that Socrates was presented in the dialogues by his admiring disciple, plato, as resume an ideal philosopher and ideal human being. It was thought that what Socrates said was what Plato agreed with or approved. Then in the late 20th Century another interpretation began to challenge that idea. This new idea considers that the symposium is intended to criticize socrates, and his philosophy, and to reject certain aspects of his behavior. It also considers that Socratic philosophy may have lost touch with the actual individual as it devoted itself to abstract principles. 11 One critic, james Arieti, considers that the symposium resembles a drama, with emotional and dramatic events occurring especially when Alcibiades crashes the banquet. Arieti suggests that it should be studied more as a drama, with a focus on character and actions, and less as an exploration of philosophical ideas. This suggests that the characters speak, as in a play, not as the author, but as themselves.

major works; it is appreciated for its philosophical content and literary quality. 5, contents Literary form edit The symposium is considered a dialogue a form used by Plato in more than thirty works but in fact it is predominantly a series of essay-like speeches from differing points of view. So dialogue plays a smaller role in the symposium than it does in Platos other dialogues. With dialogue, socrates is renowned for his dialectic, which is his ability to ask questions that encourage others to think deeply about what they care about, and articulate their ideas. In the symposium the dialectic exists among the speeches: in seeing how the ideas conflict from speech-to-speech, and in the effort to resolve the contradictions and see the philosophy that underlies them all. 8 It is important to understand that the symposium is, like all of Platos dialogues, fiction. 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. There is no reason to think they were not composed entirely by Plato.

Symposium, eros is recognized both as erotic love, and as a phenomenon that is capable of inspiring courage, valor, great deeds and works, and vanquishing mans natural fear of death. It is seen as transcending its earthly origins, and attaining spiritual heights. This extraordinary elevation of the engelsk concept of love raises a question of whether some of the most extreme extents of meaning might be intended as humor or farce. 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. 3 4 5, the event depicted in the, symposium is a banquet attended by a group of men, who have come to the symposium, which was, in ancient Greece, a traditional part of the same banquet that took place after the meal, when drinking for. The setting means that the participants will be drinking wine; this suggests that the men might be induced to say things they wouldnt say elsewhere or when sober. They might speak frankly, or take risks, or be prone to hubris — they might even be inspired to make speeches that are particularly heartfelt and noble.

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The, symposium ancient Greek : συμπόσιον) is a philosophical text bill by, plato dated. 1 2, it depicts a friendly contest of extemporaneous speeches given by a group of notable men attending a banquet. The men include the philosopher. Socrates, the general and political figure. Alcibiades, and the comic playwright, aristophanes. The speeches are to be given in praise. Eros, who is the god of love and desire, and the son of Aphrodite.


platos symposium summary
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Love is the best guide in life, because it makes us flee the ugly actions and. Summary of the Argument. The Preface: 172 A-174.

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  1. The symposium (Ancient Greek: συμπόσιον) is a philosophical text by Plato dated. At Internet Classics Archive and another at University of Adelaide with Jowett s introduction; Longer summary of the symposium by Glyn Hughes. Symposium is central in Plato s philosophy, since it talks about love and Idea.

  2. Buy the ebook of this SparkNote. Symposium study guide contains a biography of Plato, literature. Quiz questions, major themes, characters, and a full summary and analysis.

  3. A short summary of Plato s The symposium. This free synopsis covers all the cr ucial plot points of The symposium. Context characters over all Summary.

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