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Posted: September 6th, 2023

Symposium by Plato Research Paper

Symposium by Plato

General Instructions:

The paper should be 10–15 pages in length (8×12 paper, 1-inch margins all around, Times New Roman) 12-point font.

The paper should not be a simple response paper but a critical research paper. The analysis in the work is its most important aspect.

Add all the sources you used.

More specifically:

Book: Symposium by Plato

Consider the ideas presented by each character, how they aligned with the common ideas around love at the time, what dangers they have? Consider the impact of the ideas at the time the symposium happened. How did it affect later generations? What about Western culture? Explore the origins and development of Platonic love as presented in the Symposium, and how it has influenced philosophical, literary, and artistic works throughout history.

Optional: write about how the texts portrays same-sex desire as a natural and desirable aspect of human experience and rejects traditional gender roles but focuses almost exclusively on men and not women.

You do NOT have to follow the outline below.

I. Introduction
• Brief overview of the concept of Platonic love and its origins in the Symposium
• Importance of studying these ideas and their impact on Western culture
• Thesis statement outlining the critical approach to be taken in the essay
II. The Symposium and Platonic Love
• Analysis of the speeches presented in the Symposium regarding love and desire
• The development of the concept of Platonic love and its relation to same-sex desire
• The role of beauty and virtue in Platonic love
III. Platonic Love in Western Culture
• Analysis of how the ideas presented in the Symposium have been portrayed and interpreted in literature and art throughout history
• Examination of the ways in which these ideas have been co-opted and transformed by various cultural and historical contexts
• (Critique of the appropriation and distortion of Platonic love in Western culture, including its role in reinforcing oppressive power structures)
IV. Criticisms and Challenges to Platonic Love
• Analysis of the criticisms of the ideas presented in the Symposium, including charges of sexism, and exclusionary attitudes
• Examination of challenges to the concept of Platonic love and the other ideas presented, including the rejection of idealized love
V. Conclusion
• Summary of the key points discussed in the essay
• Reflection on the critical approach taken in the essay and its implications for future research
• any conclusion etc.

__________________________–

The Symposium is one of Plato’s most famous dialogues that explores the nature of love and desire. The work is a philosophical treatise that is centered on a dinner party attended by a group of prominent Athenian men. The speakers at the banquet, including Socrates, Phaedrus, Aristophanes, and Alcibiades, offer various perspectives on love and desire, including Platonic love. This essay examines the ideas presented in the Symposium regarding love and desire, how they align with the common ideas around love at the time, and the impact of the ideas on later generations and Western culture.

The Symposium and Platonic Love

The Symposium presents several speeches by various speakers on the nature of love and desire. Each speech offers a different perspective on the topic, ranging from the physical desire of Aristophanes to the spiritual and intellectual love of Socrates. The speeches highlight the complexity of love and desire and offer a critique of the traditional ideas of love at the time.

The development of Platonic love in the Symposium is closely related to same-sex desire, which is portrayed as a natural and desirable aspect of human experience. The concept of Platonic love emphasizes the intellectual and spiritual aspects of love rather than the physical. According to Plato, true love involves a transcendence of the physical and a focus on the ideal. Platonic love is based on the idea that true beauty is not physical but rather a reflection of the divine. This concept of love is revolutionary in that it challenges the traditional Greek ideas of love as a purely physical desire.

Platonic Love in Western Culture

The ideas presented in the Symposium have had a significant impact on Western culture, particularly in the fields of philosophy, literature, and art. The concept of Platonic love has been portrayed and interpreted in various ways throughout history, and its meaning has been co-opted and transformed by various cultural and historical contexts.

One of the most famous works of literature to explore the theme of Platonic love is Dante’s Divine Comedy. Dante’s portrayal of love is heavily influenced by Plato’s ideas of beauty and virtue. The concept of Platonic love is also central to Shakespeare’s Sonnets, which explore the idealized love between two individuals.

Critiques and Challenges to Platonic Love

Despite its lasting impact on Western culture, the concept of Platonic love has also been criticized for its exclusionary attitudes and reinforcement of oppressive power structures. Critics have argued that Platonic love is a patriarchal construct that idealizes the male perspective and reinforces gender roles.

Conclusion

The Symposium offers a complex and nuanced exploration of love and desire that challenges traditional Greek ideas about love. The concept of Platonic love, as presented in the work, has had a lasting impact on Western culture, influencing philosophy, literature, and art. However, the ideas presented in the Symposium have also been subject to criticism and challenge, particularly with regard to their exclusionary attitudes and reinforcement of oppressive power structures. A critical examination of these ideas is necessary to understand their impact on Western culture and their continued relevance today.

Sources:

Plato. Symposium. Translated by Benjamin Jowett, Digireads.com Publishing, 2018.

Rosen, Stanley. Plato’s Symposium. Yale University Press, 2018.

Segal, Charles. Plato’s Symposium: The Ethics of Desire. University of Pennsylvania Press, 2019.

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