Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Symposium: a dinner party, usually involving much drinking.

:-)

Attended by Aristodemus, Agathon, Pausanias, Eryximachus, Aristophanes, Phaedrus, and Socrates -- who arrives fashionably late having been lost in thought, -- this symposium is held in honor of Agathon. In lieu of the usual entertainment, Eryximachus suggests the guests give speeches praising the god of Love.

Young phaedrus is the first to expound on this topic. He praises the god of Love as the god who does the most to promote virtue in people.

Pausanius, Agathon's lover, distinguishes between Common Love and Heavenly Love. Heavenly love, he explains, is that which exists between a boy (the lover) and a man (the beloved). The beloved teaches the boy about wisdom, philosophy, virtue, in exchange for which the lover provides sexual gratification.

The dear doctor is the next to speak. Eryximachus argues that Love promotes order and moderation. In people and, in fact, in all things. Hence, Love exists in all things, from music to medicine.

Aristophanes, famed writer of The Clouds, Lysistrata, and The Flies, among others, tells us of the origin of love. There were once three types of beings, all round and all having two heads, four legs and four arms. The Children of the Sun were as a male and a male together. The Children of the Earth were as two females. The Children of the Moon were as a male and a female. The gods feared that we would become too powerful and so split us in two. From that point forward, we have spent every waking moment trying to find our miss half; trying to fit back together with our missing half. When we find this person, we cling to them with all our might. This is love.

Agathon then give an ornate, elaborate speech on Love, who is beautiful, young and wise. All virtues we recieve are gifts from Love. Socrates suggests that this speech not on Love itself, but rather on the object of Love.

Socrates explains that he once held quite similar beliefs. That is, until he met Diotima who taught him all he knows on the subject of Love. Love is neither god nor mortal. Love is the product of Resource and Poverty. It is not beautiful, young or wise, as Agathon figuredd, but rather, Love is the desire for beauty, youth and wisdom. Love gives birth to beauty, both in the form of a child and in the form of giving birth to ideas.

We see Beauty and we desire it, but this desire can be refined until we love Beauty itself. This is the highest love there is.

At the end of all the speeches, Alcibiades disturbs the scene, busting in three sheets to the wind. He complains that Socrates will not accept his advances in exchange for wisdom. Soon, more people arrive and the symposium because less talking, more drinking.

5 comments:

Tiffany Anne said...

i like this one:

Aristophanes, famed writer of The Clouds, Lysistrata, and The Flies, among others, tells us of the origin of love. There were once three types of beings, all round and all having two heads, four legs and four arms. The Children of the Sun were as a male and a male together. The Children of the Earth were as two females. The Children of the Moon were as a male and a female. The gods feared that we would become too powerful and so split us in two. From that point forward, we have spent every waking moment trying to find our miss half; trying to fit back together with our missing half. When we find this person, we cling to them with all our might. This is love.

Anonymous said...

You know, some of your posts are utterly insane. What is this about?

Tokyo Pink said...

Umm, this post is about Plato's Symposium... Kinda thought that was obvious, but, you know, whatever.

Anonymous said...

But Why?

Tokyo Pink said...

I think the real question is: why not?