Good Socrates` Speech In Plato's "Symposium" Essay Example

Type of paper: Essay

Topic: Love, Beauty, Socrates, Plato, Symposium, Philosophy, Soul, Idea

Pages: 2

Words: 550

Published: 2020/10/09

The main theme of Plato's "Symposium" – is a reasoning about a benefit and love. Dialogue represents a story about a symposium with Socrates, arranged on the occasion of winning a competition in the Athenian theater of the tragic poet Agathon. A talk about this symposium organized by Plato is performed by Apollodorus and his friend Glaucon. To formulate what are the ideas of material things was relatively simply for Plato, but much more difficult problem was to understand an idea of the human soul. Dialogue “Symposium” is devoted to this specific issue. According to Plato's opinion expressed in this dialogue, the idea of the human soul is eternal striving that is constantly inherent to it – in a passionate love drawn to the beauty and goodness. "Symposium" consists of a short introduction, the same small conclusion and seven speeches of participants of a friendly feast, by which Plato develops the basic idea of this dialogue.

A speech of Socrates

Agathon`s speech provokes approval among other participants. Socrates praises it, however in such a way that in his words a restrained contradiction with Agathon is heard. Socrates ironically noted that a beautiful laudable speech is equivalent to “attributing to Love every species of greatness and glory, whether really belonging to him not, without regard to truth or falsehood”. And Socrates says that he will now talk about Love only truth.
In his speech at the symposium, Socrates resorts to his favorite dialectical method of maieutics. Plato describes how starting a dialogue with Agathon and asking him skillfully connected with each other questions, Socrates gradually forces the poet to give up of many things that he had told before.
Love, says Socrates at the symposium – is an ardent desire for something. But one can only wish fervently that what one really needs – what do you most not. Love is a desire to beauty and benefit, then it should be irrefutable: love is devoid of beauty and goodness. This, however, does not mean that Love is angry and ugly, because the desire to good and beautiful is yet an inescapable characteristic of it. Love, rather, lies between these extremes. If Love does not have the fullness of life, but only tends to it, and Love cannot be considered a god. Taking place between men and gods, Love fills the gap between both, linking human nature with the divine.
Through the words of Socrates, Plato concludes from this that Love is the love of the eternal generation of beauty for the sake of immortality both corporal and spiritual. Love combines in itself all kinds of love: not only carnal, but also a highly spiritual, including the love of poetic creativity and state activities.
In conclusion, Socrates draws a picture of the erotic hierarchy. Having fallen in love with one beautiful body, we soon gain an idea of beauty, that combines into one symbol all the beautiful bodies. But through it we begin to love more not the body but a soul by creating an image of a beautiful soul. Through craving for a beautiful soul a higher part of our own soul – mind – receives a thirst for wisdom and science, and then moves to the highest stage of them all, the idea of the Beautiful, which exists since the beginning of time, as the purpose and limits of all human desires.

Works cited

Plato. Symposium. Transl. Benjamin Jowett. The Internet Classics Archive. N.d. Web. 23 jan. 2015. < >.

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"Good Socrates` Speech In Plato's "Symposium" Essay Example," Free Essay Examples -, 09-Oct-2020. [Online]. Available: [Accessed: 30-Jan-2023].
Good Socrates` Speech In Plato's "Symposium" Essay Example. Free Essay Examples - Published Oct 09, 2020. Accessed January 30, 2023.

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