Critical Analysis Of Plato's Symposium

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The Symposium is an ancient philosophical text written by Plato. This text depicts several characters giving their own extemporaneous speeches about Eros. However, the text primarily focuses on Agathon’s and Socrates’s speeches. Agathon suggests that Eros is a young, beautiful god, who has all cardinal virtues. However, Socrates completely disagrees with Agathon. Socrates criticizes Agathon’s speech and then provides his account that Eros is a need in reproduction of beauty, called the ladder of love.
I.
To start, Agathon begins his speech by criticizing the previous speeches for concentrating on the benefits bestowed by Eros rather than the character of the god. Agathon then claims that Eros is the happiest of gods because he is the best
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Socrates questions Agathon by explaining some important points. The points Socrates makes are that love is the love of something, love desires what it is the love of, one only desires what he/she needs, and those who have love do not have their desire. A clever example that Socrates provides to convince Agathon is, “… someone who is tall, want to be tall… impossible, on the basis of what we’ve agreed. Presumably because no one is in the need of those things he already has” (200b). From this conversation between Agathon and Socrates, Socrates is trying to convince Agathon that people do not desire what they already have. Instead, people want to preserve the qualities they have now so that they can have them in the future. Socrates also reminds Agathon of having claimed that there is love of beautiful things. Therefore, Love cannot be beautiful if it desires beauty. This suggests that Love must lack beauty, which completely contradicts Agathon’s speech about Eros. Agathon then concedes that he did not know what he was talking about. Socrates finished his criticism by stating that Love lacks beautiful things. Good things are beautiful, therefore, Love desires good …show more content…
For example, Socrates mentions about reproduction, which is a method for mortals to obtain immortality. By procreating, people leave their descendants in place of themselves thus achieving immortality since descendants are pieces of their ancestors. Socrates also goes on that biological reproduction is something people share with animals, but unlike animals, people have a more sophisticated form of achieving this. The other method is through poetry, writing, customs, and laws. The ideas that people produce, the books that people publish, and the customs and laws that are setup by statesman, are forms of “children” people give birth. This form of reproduction is far superior to biological reproduction because they are longer lasting, which can be taught to more people and can carry on through

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