How Is Love Presented In Plato's Symposium

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Plato’s Symposium provides six varying perspectives on love, each presented in different forms ranging from entertaining tales (Aristophanes) to formal rhetoric (Agathon). However, the most spectacular of the speeches on love comes from Socrates who pulls bits from the others’ dialogues and subtly incorporates them into his own to create the broad definition of love, encompassing both the love of wisdom and the love of various forms of beauty. His speech also serves as a defense in Plato’s Apology, where many concepts presented in the Symposium directly contend the charges laid against him on trial. Both works impressively present highly philosophical ideas in the form of enticing and engaging dialogue in particular appreciation of ancient Athenian…show more content…
7). His acceptance of Diotima’s tale of Aphrodite’s birthday and the god Plenty (and therefore the divine nature of Love) proves that he is not an atheist, because he did not denounce the divine qualities of her myth. In response to the charges of corruption the youth (besides preaching atheism which has been disproved), Socrates’ path to love comprises of the desire of knowledge, which all men seek, including the youth of Athens. Socrates only serves to achieve his immortality through his dissemination of knowledge, which does not corrupt the youth; if anything, he is bringing them closer to achieving the beauty of knowledge and ultimately the Form of Beauty. Even Alcibiades’ drunken presentation, which seems to supports the prosecution’s position of Socrates’ corruption of the youth, only serves to continuously praise Socrates’ wisdom, with his only complaint being that Socrates would not accept his advances (Plato, Symposium, p. 176-181). Socrates’ behavior, therefore, is furthest from corruption of young

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