Understanding the Philosophy of Love: Analysis of "Symposium"

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Understanding the Philosophy of Love: Analysis of "Symposium" essay
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In order to understand the underlying philosophy of love, its types, underlying essence and the fragmentism that can help to understand it in its true form, it is necessary to reflect the visions claimed in Plato’s Symposium. There are different dimensions of love that are expressed in it, ranging from the presupposition of the Greek understanding of morality to the critical scrutiny that is proposed by Socrates. Love is termed as both, a relationship between physical and the spiritual world as well as the social practicality of love that is guided by geophysical world. In Plato’s work, different philosophers such as Phaedrus, Pausanias, Agathon, Eryximachus and Aristophanes have presented different understandings and ideologies of love, each associated with an explanation that either praise or definite love (Parks et al., p.130). It would not be wrong to say that Plato’s symposium is a clear description of all the possible vision and narration of love, that not only covers the physical and apparent visions but also infers the underlying spiritual connections.

The central theme of the symposium is love, taking into consideration that there are different explanations of love. In Plato’s symposium, he speaks about different kinds of love. Sometimes love is the connotation of lust and the materialistic world while other times, it is the persistence of spirituality or the association of common good. There is an incredible amount of views about love by six historical people. He infers and comments on different types of love that are proposed by speakers who are the parts of the symposium in the honor of Agathon. This symposium comprised of both men and women, elaborating and sharing the vision of love. According to Phaedrus, love has the power and potential to inspire an individual to inspire others with courage and passion that is guided by the idea of sacrificing love for the beloved. He asserts. He would be ready to die a thousand deaths rather than endure this. Or who would desert his beloved or fail him in the hour of danger? The veriest coward would become an inspired hero, equal to the bravest, at such a time; Love would inspire him (Hyland et al., p32).

He believes in the notion of love as a spiritual relationship that deprives an individual of the understanding of this world and directs him towards death just for the love of beloved. It would not be wrong to say that this narration of love is similar to that of some spiritual association that positions a human over the paradigm of life and death. However, the account of love by Pausanias is more like that of a legal scholar or lover, he is more towards the essence of beloved. According to him, there are two versions of love, both noble, and base. He does not categorize love as something that can bring an individual to lose but it is a description of love in the defense of pedantry. This pedantry has the potential to bring two people close and let them admire each other with the underlying cause of love. His love is more towards the identification of traits that are somehow worldly and confined to the realms of this world. He asserts that: “the basic version of love is void of noble version where people are in love with each her to exercise a mutual virtue of love (Foster et al., p.323).

The amalgamation of both the ideologies highlight love as something that is a combination of the nomos and Eros, love and the law. Our customs then, provide for only one honorable way of taking a man as a lover. In addition to recognizing that the lover’s total and willing subjugation to his beloved’s wishes is neither servile nor reprehensible, we allow that there is one--and only one--further reason for willingly subjecting oneself to another which is equally above reproach: that is subjection for the sake of virtue. He is often struggling with the basic ideology of love where he also justifies the unconditional love of Romeo and Juliet as well, highlighting that love is an abstraction, that is everything. Love of country, justice, is something of a tyrant that diminishes the set boundaries. It is an amalgamation of both moral, spiritual and societal paradigms that seem to synchronize and then depart somewhere (Foster, et al., p.323).

However, the ideology of love proposed by Eryximachus is “All things that are”. He includes everything in love ranging from animals and men to that of plants. He defines love as an amalgamation of harmony, consonance and balance as well about all features and relevant and affect each other in one way or the other. He explains a worldly notion of love where people should try to be more harmonized and decent so that the less decent people can learn how to be decent. “So important a god and so little attention has been paid to him” (Hyland, et al., p.32).

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The notion of Eryximachus is negated by the proposition of Aristophanes for whom lobe s to return to the basic, as he believes in human as something that is a fallen creature so he thinks that love is all about redirecting to the basic nature. He is more towards the question of the essence of love what approach to is where love is a situation that occurs once in the life of an individual. It is the product of the sexual union of the human beings. Now the most hostile are the most opposite, such as hot and cold, bitter and sweet, moist and dry, and the like. For harmony is a symphony, and the symphony is an agreement, but an agreement of disagreements while they disagree there cannot be; you cannot harmonize that which disagrees. (Bury, et al.).

Socrates defines love by commenting on the ideology of love that was proposed by Agathon i.e. love of something and Aristophanes, for whom, love is the longing for something that one is not having. For Socrates, love is about a beautiful but this notion of love is the presentation of facts and figures that are associated with the thinking of theirs about lobe. He finds love as something very appealing when praising the Agathon notion of love, with a conclusion that love desires that which love it. According to him. “Love is born into every human being; it calls back the halves of our original nature together; it tries to make one out of two and heal the wound of human nature” (Bury, et al.).

Negating the general perception about love that it something pure and delicate as most mentioned about the heavenly love, Diotima believes that love is tough that always stays in the dirt even without having the bed…impetuous and intense. This statement must not be misunderstood by taking in any direction rather it must be linked with a common love. However, the new form of love is somewhere between heavenly love and love that makes it even difficult to understand the essence of love. Diotima most statements point that she believes the love that was mentioned previously was truth somewhere in the middle (Brooks, et al., p.130).

Another point of Diotima is being brought up by Socrates is that we all are pregnant (by the body as well as by soul) when we reach a certain age; in every individual, a desire to give birth arose. Taking heavenly love in consideration, when a woman becomes pregnant her body wants to give birth to a new beautiful human being. In the case of the man, when he became pregnant he wanted do give birth to a new idea or a new beautiful self-identity hat none knew before. When it is about the common love when people started having feeling and wanted to get rid of their bodies lust, they start looking for another partner for satisfying their sexual needs and activities that enables to give birth to their satisfaction (Bury, et al.).

Men are being looked upon as the superior gender though it is the woman who is known for having the strongest most convincing knowledge about love. It is unusual to see how Diotima is not being presented even despite knowing that she is a woman and knows more about love, rather there is a perception that a woman is merely a tool for reproduction as she is considered ignorant (Parks et al., p.3). This statement must not be misunderstood and men must not consider women in this way, only the earthly women should be taken for this kind of consideration excluding the goddesses. Plato used a more curious thing regarding women as he brought her in the discussion through Socrates is this woman is made up of all those characters of the symposium. With the help of this information, it was asserted that all the ideas were Plato’s way of picturing his thoughts by using all the views and thoughts of different speakers; ideas that world has on love.

By emphasizing on the idea that there are two forms of love present in this world, it becomes easy to fall in love in any of the two categories (Parks et al. p.3). Men about whom description has been provided in the symposium are found to victimize with both types of love, though they clearly appreciate heavenly love over the common. The idea that everyone has of being pregnant either with a child of beauty or with love of lust, there is no more mystery, why it is significant to find a specific kind of love. Plato does not have the same beliefs about women the same as other speakers work forced them to perceive as he gives most of the credit to the woman for creating such kind of discussion (Bury et al.)

Taking into account different visions about love, it can be asserted that there are different striking and intermingling points that are brought on board with the help this discussion. It would not be wrong to say that Love is an emotion and feeling that is universal. In terms of the narration of each of the philosopher, it is highlighted that all the intentions and dimensions of love redirect towards spirituality and the idea that lead this world. It is everything a feeling, an emotion and a stance that keeps societal functioning in the paradigms of work and keep humans united and bound to other human beings. After getting a critical insight to these reading, it would not be wrong to say that there is no justified and logical demonstration of love, in fact, it is a self-created ideology that is equally applicable to the life of an individual. However, these readings are an insight into different definition versions of love that are a guide to understanding love from a global perspective. These readings incorporate both skill and spiritual understanding towards love that directs human understating to think about love; not as a materialistic thing but also as an approach that has the potential to keep the actions of this world in flow.

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This essay engages deeply with Plato's Symposium to explore the multifaceted nature of love. It analyzes the various perspectives presented by different philosophers within the text, highlighting the diverse dimensions of love, from the spiritual to the worldly. The essay effectively examines how each philosopher contributes to the collective understanding of love and its essence. The writing demonstrates a comprehensive grasp of the topic, offering insightful interpretations of the text. The incorporation of multiple viewpoints adds richness to the analysis. However, some points could be further elaborated to enhance clarity. The essay provides a commendable exploration of love's complexities through Plato's Symposium.
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What can be improved
Elaborate Explanations: Provide more detailed explanations of the philosophical perspectives presented in the essay for a clearer understanding. Thesis Clarity: Enhance the clarity of the thesis statement at the beginning of the essay to clearly convey the focus and purpose of the analysis. Organizational Structure: Organize the essay with clearer subheadings to make the progression of ideas and arguments more apparent. Citation Style: Ensure consistent and proper citation of sources throughout the essay for academic integrity.
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