Exploring The Nature Of Love In Plato's The Symposium

2335 Words 10 Pages
The Symposium is an ancient philosophical book written by the famed Greek philosopher, Plato. Plato was born and lived in Athens and was a student of Socrates, another famous Greek philosopher who is present as a character in the Symposium. The date for when Plato wrote the Symposium is not exactly known, but it is believed by scholars to have been written likely no earlier than 385 BC. The setting of the story itself, however, takes place several decades earlier, c. 416 BC. The story takes place at a party in that year in which the host, Agathon has just recently been named victorious at a drama competition. The main dialogue of the story starts off when one of the party’s attendants, Eryximachus, says that all the party’s attendant should …show more content…
Socrates teachings are known mostly through the works of his students, and in the Symposium he is the last of the party attendants to speak. Unlike the previous speakers, Socrates does not give a eulogy on love, at least not initially. Instead, he begins by asking Agathon a few questions with the consent of Phaedrus. Socrates begins by stating to Agathon, “Is the nature of Love such that he must be love of something, or can he exist absolutely without an object?” (Symposium, sect. 199d). It is here that Socrates asks whether or not Love is the love of something or love in the same manner that exists between family members, too which Agathon agrees that Love is definitely the love of something. This answer prompts Socrates to get Agathon to also accept that Love desires the thing he is in love with and to somewhat agree that Love loves and desires something that is not in his possession. From here Socrates concludes that if Love was to love and desire something, then that absolutely means that Love does not have that particularly something in his possession. He makes this conclusion through an

Related Documents