Theme Of Beauty In Plato's Symposium
The Symposium is Plato’s account of six speeches on the meaning of love. The setting of a symposium is quite telling of Greek culture at that time for it was a culture that failed to emphasize the virtue of self-control. For the Greeks a symposium was a night filled with heavy drinking, sexual indulgence, and other sorts of vulgar entertainment. Such a setting threatens to undermine the validity of an entire work. If, upon examination, Plato’s Symposium contains insights more profound then an account of mere vulgar actions, then one must determine what the purpose of these vulgar references are.
It is necessary that one acknowledge and critique the immorality which is referenced in the Symposium in order …show more content…
In line with custom Alcibiades desired to receive the guidance of Socrates through pederasty. Yet, his attempt was in vain because Socrates did not engage in such promiscuity “I swear to you by all the gods and goddesses together, my night with Socrates went no further than if I had spent it with my own father or older brother” (181B). Alcibiades expresses his disbelief that Socrates would deny his beauty saying “he turned me down! He spurned my beauty, of which I was so proud”(219C). Coinciding with the denial to drink is an even more radical action of Socrates, to turn down what was accepted as beauty. There is only one possible explanation for why Socrates does not cave in to sexual immorality: You can’t imagine how little he cares whether a person is beautiful, or rich, or famous in any other way that most people admire”(217A) Plato’s Socrates thinks there is something more beautiful than sex. By refusing the sexual indulgence offered to him the actions of Socrates profess that love is not found in pederasty and therefore beauty is not