Lucretius Symposium Analysis

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a representative Epicurean philosopher, has provided an extensive description on human sexuality and a physiological interpretation of it. By offering a scientific explanation, Lucretius distinguishes between sexual pleasure and the purpose of human intercourse. He does not condemn sexual pleasure, but attempts to rationalize it as a way of releasing physical tensions without becoming obsessed with a single object of desire. Hence, appropriate manner of sex leads a life free of mental disturbance and madness, for the highest good of life, according to Lucretius, consists in “… (living) on a little with contented mind; for a little is never lacking.” On the other hand, human copulation has a higher end, for mankind is able to procreate via copulation …show more content…
When the boy reached a certain age, the older man would become his sex partner while retaining his role as an educator. In Symposium, Plato has depicted a dramatic scene when Socrates was confronted by drunk Alcibiades, who disclosed their love affairs to every guest present at the party. Alcibiades attempted to seduce Socrates with his handsome appearance so that he could share Socrates’ wisdom; nonetheless, Socrates rejected Alcibiades because he believed it was unfair to trade handsomeness for wisdom. The relationship that Alcibiades sought to establish with Plato is what we have examined – a mixture of sexual attraction and love of knowledge between a young, beautiful boy and a grown, wise man. Plato has a more detailed description of such a relationship in Phaedrus; he writes, “… (when the soul of the lover) looked at (his boy), his chill gives way to sweating and a high fever, because the stream of beauty that pours into him through his eyes warms him up, … then all its pain subsides and is replaced by joy. When, however, it is separated from the boy, … the pain simply drives it wild.” Although the lover craves …show more content…
At the end of this paper, I would like to conclude that sexuality in ancient Roman state has a close relation to other virtues such as temperance and wisdom, and has two-sided effects on a person’s wellbeing. One the one hand, appropriate sexual relationship provides one with a happy and tranquil life, or even guides one to the realm of truth. One the other hand, however, indulgence and debauchery is considered as moral degeneration and lack of self-governance. In addition, the roman society, in general, holds an accepting attitude towards homosexuality between a citizen man and a social inferior, which is a product of the notion of citizenship profoundly rooted in the state. Hence, we should realize that the absurd and licentious acts of Roman aristocrats are no typical cases of sexual activities in Rome, and their conducts would be severely reprimanded in accordance with the ethics at that

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