Wednesday, September 18, 2019
The Nature of Love Explored in PlatoÃ¢â¬â¢s Symposium Essay -- Plato Sympos
The Nature of Love Explored in PlatoÃ¢â¬â¢s Symposium In classical Greek literature the subject of love is commonly a prominent theme. However, throughout these varied texts the subject of Love becomes a multi-faceted being. From this common occurrence in literature we can assume that this subject had a large impact on day-to-day life. One text that explores the many faces of love in everyday life is PlatoÃ¢â¬â¢s Symposium. In this text we hear a number of views on the subject of love and what the true nature of love is. This essay will focus on a speech by Pausanius. PausaniusÃ¢â¬â¢s speech concentrates on the goddess Aphrodite. In particular he looks at her two forms, as a promoter of Ã¢â¬Å"Celestial LoveÃ¢â¬ as well as Ã¢â¬Å"Common Love.Ã¢â¬ This idea of Ã¢â¬Å"Common LoveÃ¢â¬ can be seen in a real life context in the tragedy Ã¢â¬Å"HippolytusÃ¢â¬ by Euripides. This brings the philosophical views made by Pausanius into a real-life context. The speech by Pausanius in PlatoÃ¢â¬â¢s Symposium divides the goddess Aphrodite into two beings, each responsible for a different aspect of love. To prove the existence of her double life he cites her creation. There are two versions of the birth of Aphrodite, one coming from HesiodÃ¢â¬â¢s work, Theogony, where she is borne out of UranusÃ¢â¬â¢ castrated genitals as they splash into the sea; the other is from HomerÃ¢â¬â¢s work, the Illiad, where she is said to be the daughter of Zeus and Dione. (Notes on PlatoÃ¢â¬â¢s Symposium 180e) From these two vastly different creations she takes on two vastly different forms. Pausanius describes one of her forms as Ã¢â¬Å"CelestialÃ¢â¬ love. This type of love springs out of the Aphrodite created from UranusÃ¢â¬â¢ genitals. This form is Ã¢â¬Å"wholly maleÃ¢â¬ (Symposium 180c) which inspires men to be a... ... love described by Pausanias as Ã¢â¬Å"CommonÃ¢â¬ love. Throughout the play love is used by Euripides as a key plot factor and in many ways sets the outcome of the play. This love was definitely based on a physical attraction between a male and a female, thus making it Ã¢â¬Å"CommonÃ¢â¬ love. The fact that Euripides uses Ã¢â¬Å"CommonÃ¢â¬ love lends credibility to PausaniasÃ¢â¬â¢ philosophical ideas. The appearance of this idea suggests that it had realistic roots. . The events that took place in the play, such as the relationship between Phaedra and Hippolytus, must have been realistic so a Greek audience would believe the story. Even though Hippolytus is a fictional play the events that take place must have their roots in realistic events. This allows us to believe that PausaniasÃ¢â¬â¢ philosophical ideal was in fact a real life issue that Athenians dealt with in day-to-day life.