Socrates 'Love In The Apology'

420 Words2 Pages
3. The Symposium consists of speeches, all on the subject of love. The speeches develop on one another, each acknowledging and correcting defects of the previous ones, until Socrates orates his bright account of love. Socrates's speech is a report of a series of questions and answers. This dialogue was between himself and a woman named Diotima. In the dialogue, Socrates is ignorant of the nature of love and Diotima leads him, mainly by question and answer, to a deeper understanding of love and beauty. In The Apology, Socrates had insisted on his own ignorance. But at the beginning of the Symposium, Socrates says that he will participate in the series of speeches on love because, "I myself would never refuse, since the art of love I’ve ever claimed to understand" (273). Why does Socrates make this exception for love? He was taught about love by the method of question and answer, which…show more content…
Alcibiades compares Socrates to the satyr Marsyas, who is a demi-god, just as Socrates had argued Love was between mortal and immortal, a spirit. Other parallels are descriptions of Socrates’ courage, justice, moderation, and piety, virtues of the “moral character” of love. He is not described as wise, but Socrates did not describe Love as wise nor ignorant either, but rather in between. Plato’s primary objective is not to present a theory of interpersonal love. Plato’s main concern was with love of the Absolute. Thus, loving another human being, at least one who is lower than oneself on the Platonic scale of values, is a matter of awakening in the beloved a deeper apprehension of the Beautiful. Alcibiades speech exemplifies this platonic theory of love. Socrates does genuinely love the young men of Athens, but not because they possess something he lacks and wants for himself. Socrates occupies a place on the Platonic scale of values far higher than any of the young men he flirts with, yet flirt he does, awakening their
Open Document