Analysis Of The Symposium, Phaedrus, Pausanias, And Alcibiades

1687 Words Nov 26th, 2016 7 Pages
In the Symposium, Phaedrus, Pausanias, Eryximachus, Aristophanes, Agathon, Socrates and Alcibiades all gather at Agathon’s residence to share a drink together. All of whom, not including Socrates, are part of the elite; intellectual and aristocratic. The reason for such a high profile gathering was their intention to celebrate Agathon’s victory at a contest; he was a playwright in tragedy. He is described as a young beautiful man with a superior command of words. Soon after their dinner, they begin giving their own account of love and they each take turns. Beginning with Phaedrus, the main point he shares is that eros can be connected to virtue. According to Phaedrus, shame comes from love and virtue comes from shame, thus being in love will make whoever practicing love virtuous. Moreover, Phaedrus adds that when a person is in love they tend to care about how they appear to others. Thus, if there was an army entirely made up of homosexuals then, he thinks, it would be nearly invincible since no lover would want to look cowardly.
Next was Pausanias, a lawyer, who argues that not all love is necessarily good nor bad and it must depend on the context. He also proposes that there are two distinct variations of love. There exists heavenly eros which leads to virtue by means of civic education, and common eros which he describes as physical attraction. To Pausanias, heavenly eros is between two men, usually between a young man seeking wisdom from an older man, and common eros…

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