Ode To Aphrodite Analysis

Plato’s Symposium offers various views on where love can be found in the mind, the body, and the soul. Aphrodite shows how desire fogs the mind, keeping Sappho from seeing one’s true beauty. In Sappho’s Ode to Aphrodite, beauty is where desire remains satisfactory for one as opposed to Plato’s Symposium, where desire leads to an understanding of true beauty, the beauty of the body, the mind, and the soul. The concept of love presented by Diatoma is able to reach the true understanding of beauty, whereas in Sappho there is a constant blur of desire from wanting only the physical pleasures of the body.
Physical desires sprout from the very root of being attracted to an individual’s beauty, due to human instincts. Love starts out as the desire
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Their body, their looks, nothing much of the substance that makes that person who they are. In spite of this the Ode to Aphrodite, presented by Sappho is a constant overlook of the true meaning behind desire. Desire in a person should “hold love and respect” while being able to “respect the ways of love and practice them with exceptional care” (Plato 50 212b). One should want to use Diamtoma’s ladder to transcend, to practice their ways of love and have an end goal to reach the full beauty of the body, the mind, and the soul. Sappho has the inability in transcending from the level of the beauty of the body to a higher standard due to the fog of wanting a constant love that is based solely on desire. In the Ode to Aphrodite, physical pleasures are fulfilled for Sappho from an old lover where they lay “on a bed, soft and tender… [satisfying her] desire[s]” (Balmer 32). In satisfying her desire she seeks to go no further to understand the value of true beauty from her physical pleasures. Sappho constantly seeks out Aphrodite in hoping she will fulfill her pleasures with ease. Although Sappho sticks to what is easy for her instead of going out in search to find her own true beauty. Sappho is continuously

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