Phaedrus First Speech Analysis

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In Plato’s dialogue, Phaedrus, Socrates meets Phaedrus and walks outside the city to discuss love and rhetoric. Phaedrus tells Socrates of Lysias ' speech about love and Socrates gives Phaedrus his response through two different speeches. His first speech proposes the coldblooded passion of the “non-lover” or the wanton lover regarding carnal pleasure. Then, he delivers a second speech which begins with him discarding the truth in the prior speech and refers to true beauty. With this book, Plato wants us to find our own understanding of the book through analysis and synthesis. This is capability to break down the whole book down and put it back together to find the truth of it ourselves. This is Plato’s dialectics. Furthermore, Socrates and …show more content…
In the first speech that Socrates proposes, Socrates primarily revolves around the lover of carnal beauty. The second speech is about the lover of true beauty. Socrates says that all men can recognize beauty because we all have a soul which once saw beauty. He describes how the soul captured a glimpse of true beauty through the soul and its three parts; the charioteer, the good horse and the bad horse. What makes a proper lover moral in contrast to the non-lover is that he can restrain his desire for the beloved. He has treats the beloved with respect and awe. Socrates says, “Desire forces it to hurry to wherever it thinks it can catch sight… of this beauty. And when it does… the soul has respite from stings and anguish and again for the moment enjoys this sweetest of all pleasures. So it will not, if it can help it, abandon its joy; it esteems this beauty above everything else…It is ready to be a slave…For not only does the soul revere the possessor of beauty, it has found in him the only healer of its terrible sufferings” (35-36). The proper lover see’s beauty in the manifestation of a human and recalls seeing beauty in Heaven since the soul did once see true beauty. The proper lover worships true beauty. Most souls will give in to carnal pleasure and perfect their relationships with sexual pleasure but since the proper lover is moral and his love is ordained by honor, so he is allowed for some carnal pleasure since …show more content…
What humans use to arrive at the truth is a medium. A medium, for example language distorts the truth, while at the same, exposes it. Humans do not have direct access to the truth like the gods do, so we use a medium. As Socrates and Phaedrus discuss rhetoric, they stumble upon a made up scenario linking to knowing the truth of the subject and claiming to know the truth. Socrates says, “Tell me now: suppose someone were to go to your friend… and say to them, ‘I know how to apply such and such… Since I have this knowledge I claim that I am a physician and can make the same of any other man to whom I communicate this knowledge’” (58). A medium was used to deceive and not to describe the truth. In order for a medium to be moral, we must also know the truth of the subject in order to arrive at the truth, the same way men are able to recognize true beauty. The philosopher is similar to the proper lover because the philosopher is allowed to have some pleasure but he must know the truth of the subject as well as connect to the soul of the audience. The philosopher can use poetry to arrive at the truth just as the proper lover is still allowed for some carnal pleasure to express himself, since it is ordained by love which justifies his case. The proper love is to the philosopher just as the non-lover or wanton lover is to the poet. All the analogies that Plato provides in the dialogue are for us to find

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