The Symposium Essay

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The Symposium, Plato When Socrates starts to talk at the symposium, he questions the truth in Agathon’s speech in order to prove his speech on Love later on, since, according to Socrates, Agathon’s description of Love is not about Love itself, but the object of it. He proceeds by explaining that everything he knows about Love he learned it from Diotima (201d) – who’s not present at the party – giving the impression that he’s trying to empathise with the other members of the symposium, by revealing that he also once shared the same beliefs about Love, until Diotima enlightened him on the matter and continues by sharing Diotima’s speech. Socrates gives his speech through Diotima’s persona, to prove his own, and changes the notion of what Love is, which in her perspective, or Socrates’ perspective, it is not derived from a god, as Agathon said, but something in between men and gods. Throughout Diotima’s speech, she claims that man can’t look for knowledge or wisdom, but Love (eros) instead can because it’s an in-between estate of the other two. Love searches for wisdom One loves what one does not have, thus if a man is ignorant, he at ease with not knowing. If a man The highest form of love is wisdom Which Socrates is re-telling Diotima’s description of love is a description of Socrates himself, Love necessarily lacks that what it desires (199d – 200b) If Love is a desire of beauty, then Love can’t be equalled with the beautiful. If what is good is also beautiful, and Love isn’t the same as the beautiful, then love can’t be equalled with the good either. **Diotima’s description of love is a description of Socrates himself – made even more explicit by Alcibiades’ drunken speech eulogizing Socrates in the spirit of Diotima’s speech.** Socrates uses with Agathon the same dialectic method Diotima used with him when she was explaining what Love

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