Plato’s “The Symposium”In Greek culture around the time of Plato, the perfect ideal person was considered.
Platos idea that there was a perfect world of ideas affected this pieces subject and thesubjects action. Many works of his time period were sculptures that were meant to beviewed from all angles, attempting to be a closer match to that of the ideal. This idea that theideal world was real and what matter not the physical also effect the actions depicted inmany works of this time period. Most of the works are depicting an ideal Greek personperforming a noble act not just a common act. Many of the works are also just a still imageof a figure from a single moment in time.Order now
All of the male sculptures appear in the nudebecause they represent a perfect man with nothing to hide. These are some of the artisticconventions that were influenced by Platos ideas. There are many different aspects ofGreek art that can be accredited to Plato for creating. Among them was the “Perfect” figurethat resented the ideal person that existed in the world of ideas. The definition of what aperfect person was developed by Plato.
Plato believed that the physical world did not matter. It was the form in the idealworld and this value of form and thought can be seen throughout many of the works of art. Plato said that in the physical world we did not see the real object we only saw a shadow ofit. The art of this time period showed form and subject that were far more perfect than onecould actually exist in the real would in an attempt to represent the world of ideas. All ofthese aspects together confirm that Plato has a major influence on Greek art of the time.
Throughout human existence, the subject of love has also been of great fascination tomany. Questions such as : “What is love?” and “What is the work of love?” are some ofgreat questions of the universe that has transcended time; yet with no absolute answers. There is perhaps no correct answers to the phenomena of love. It exists in many strata. It isperpetually subject to debate, for we all are experts of love in our own rights. In TheSymposium, Plato gave accounts of speeches from different speakers.
Yet the focus of thisessay is on Aristophanes and Socrates. Their explanations of love and critical comments towill be answered to these questions: What is love? How do lovers select theirbeloveds? and What is the work of love? What is love? In his speech, Aristophanes engages in the discussion of love,encompassing human nature as whole rather than individualistic aspects. According to amyth, we were originally created as a single being, united with our beloved. As pairs, wewere quite powerful and chaotic, such that the god had to split us into two. Thereafter, lifebecame pursuit, a pursuit for the other half, a “pursuit for wholeness, to be complete. ” Andthesis what Aristophanes defines as love.
He believes that love is innate: ” love is born intoevery human being”. He is expressing that the phenomenon of love is as natural andinherent to us as breathing itself. Like other amenities of life, Love fulfills us. “To bein love is to see the other individual as a special complement to one’s existence. ” Socrates, onthe other hand, defines love as the desire to possess good and beautifulentities, which he presently lacks. By a dialectical method, questioning Agathon, hemanifests that love cannot presently possess the object of affection.
Even when he desireswhat he has, what he really desire is “the preservation of what he now has in time to come,so that he will have it then. ” It follows then, that he wants, rather than has the good. Thus,Love itself is not beautiful. This however, does not imply that Love is ugly or evil. Rather,Love is in between; just as there is something between wisdom and ignorance- theright opinion. He is in between mortal and immortal.
Thus, Love is an intermediate spiritwho interprets between gods and men. Although there seems to be great disparity betweenthe two, Aristophanes’ and Socrates’ speeches actually merge in their paths. Is it not humaninclination to desire goodand beauty? Is it not then, that to have good and beauty is toembrace it body and soul and never wanting to depart it? Thus, the desire to unite with theother half is analogous, if not the same to the desire to possess good and beauty, but in abroader scope. Aristophanes’ and Socrates’ explanations of love greatly mirror the nature ofour existence today. Love is the knot that binds two people together. Love is havingpossession of freedom, which lies, perhaps, in the highest scale of goodness.
The Americansare notorious for their freedom. They have it now. And it is certain that they want to alwayspossess it. How do lovers select their beloveds? The subjects and objects in Aristophanes’schema of love is confined solely to human beings. The question is then, “how do loversselect their beloveds?” According toAristophanes, they choose their original other half. Since everybody is a matching half of a human whole lovers tend to select what is likethemselves.
If a man was originally of the double sort, he will seek a woman to completehim. If he was split from a male, he will be male-oriented; their choice depends on theiroriginal orientation. In essence, Aristophanes believes that there is someone for everyone andthat the match will fit like that of a substrate and enzyme. In Socrates’ scala amoris, theobject of desire, the beloved, is generalized into the categories of goodness or beauty. A manselect a beloved that which ultimately brings him happiness. Thus, the lover can love men,animals, life, wisdom, or anything which has the predominant characteristic of being good orbeautiful.
However, like a religion, he must dedicate himself only to that beloved; “It’s onlywhen people are devoted exclusively to a special kind of love that we use these words, ‘love,’and ‘in love’. Aristophanes’ discussion of lovers and their beloveds is orchestrated by hismyth. However, the myth is only an analogy representing his adamant belief that humanbeings are incomplete without their beloveds. Lovers complement each other in many ways.
An idealistic person will compensate for the realist, a romantic complements a stoic,and same for an optimist and a pessimist. Thus, lovers provide each other balance in life,which often means one thing. . . . .
happiness! The beloveds in Socrates’ speech are symbolicnature of good and beauty. The lovers are those who desire possession of them. If this is so,then every human being is a lover; everyone of us is Love. For, we all know what it is todesire good and beauty. Nevertheless, Socrates installs boundaries and limitations when hesays that people must devote themselves exclusively to the beloveds; only then are they ‘inlove’ and are they considered ‘lovers.
‘ The love Socrates speaks of is almost absolute andunconditional. A revolutionist fighting for a cause would be considered a lover; the cause inwhich he believes to be good is his beloved. Socrates, however, argues that “a lover does notseek the half or whole. ” Thus, he opposes Aristophanes’ view.
However, in dissecting thespeeches, one can interpret that Aristophanes’ “other half” must represent good and beauty. And the special love Socrates speaks off, in essence, would fulfill and complete his existence. This may not necessarily be physical complement, but it is indeed, spiritual. What is the work of love? The central, grandest achievement of love is unity.
Aristophanes believes that the union of lovers and their beloveds ultimately brings abouthappiness. In the myth, Aristophanes tells us that Apollo was commanded to heal the woundafter human beings were split apart and reoriented. Here, he personifies love as a healer. It isthe great work of love that mediates the union between lovers: “love calls back the halves ofour original nature together; it tries to make one out of two and heal the wound of nature. ” Is he implying that to be incomplete is to be in the state of illness? If so, it is the unionthen, that provides the cure. Aristophanes view love as a great god that endow our worldwith the greatest gift: unity and therefore happiness.
He believes that we must praise Love. Love draws us towards what belongs us. For the future, Love promises the greatest hope ofall: if we treat the gods with due reverence, he will restore to us our original nature, and byhealing us, he will make us blessed and happy. When Aristophanes say to revere Love, hemay also mean to revere love the phenomenon.
For, love is a serious matter. It doesmysterious wonders. Yet in the same token, it can relentlessly bring about great pain andmisery. Thus, Aristophanes is indirectly warning us when he says so, there’s a dangerthat if we don’t keep order before the god, he will split us into two again.
According to Socrates, the great work of love, grander than the union of lovers, isoffspring or immortality and happiness. It is the principle of nature that mortals seek asfar as possible to live forever and be immortal. Socrates explains earlier in the speech thatlove is the desire for good and beauty and that one wants to always possess them. Thus, inthe presence of a beautiful body, we naturally want to give birth, to create somethingbeautiful. Love is not beauty alone, but creation of beauty.
By doing so, we haveimmortalized the beauty that is present. Thus it is through love, the messenger, that thedivine is born. It is also through love that a vivid painting of Beauty is portrayed for us. Itgoes from one beautiful body to manifold other, successively higher. Thus, via Love, we canbecome immortal and know Beauty itself.
But in order to do so, as stated by Aristophanes,we must honor the rites of love. We must be true to virtue and nourish it. Socrates states thatto acquire this virtue, “human nature can find no better workmate than Love”. Both Socrates and Aristophanes praise the work of love, however, under thecondition that love is honored. In many respect, love is omnipotent; from it we can extractthe power to pursuit virtue and immortality.
It was perhaps from his knowledge of beautifulbodies that Michaelangelo painted the most exquisite portraits of human anatomy. Throughout their speeches, Socrates and Aristophanes speak of a recurrent theme oflove; it’s ultimate end beatitude. Though, the speeches are set in different regard andideologies, they are in many respect, similar. That is , to acquire or unite with good andbeauty to embrace happiness. The speech of Aristophanes indeed, foreshadows that ofSocrates’.
In Greek culture around the time of Plato, the perfect ideal person was also considered. The piece has a great amount of detail and its weight is shifted from perfectbalance. The subject is depicted in a performing a perfect act. Platos idea that there was aperfect world of ideas affected this pieces subject and the subjects action.
Many works ofthis time period were sculptures that were meant to be viewed from all angles, attempting tobe a closer match to that of the ideal. This idea that the ideal world was real and what matternot the physical also effect the actions depicted in many works of this time period. Most ofthe works are depicting an ideal Greek person performing a noble act not just a mundanecommon act. Many of the works are also just a still image of a figure from a single momentin time. All of the male sculptures appear in the nude because they represent a perfect manwith nothing to hide. These are some of the artistic conventions that were influenced byPlatos ideas.
There are many different aspects of Greek art that can be accredited to Platofor creating. Among them was the “Perfect” figure that resented the ideal person that existedin the world of ideas. The definition of what a perfect person was developed by Plato. Platobelieved that the physical world did not matter it was the form in the ideal world and thisvalue of form and thought can be seen throughout many of the works of art. Plato said thatin the physical world we did not see the real object we only saw a shadow of it.
The art ofthis time period showed form and subject that were far more perfect than one could actuallyexist in the real would in an attempt to represent the world of ideas. All of these aspectstogether confirm that Plato has a major influence on Greek art of the time. Philosophy