Socrates’ The Symposium and Its Serious Purpose Essay

The next scene takes place between Eryximachus, the physician who is bombastic and Aristophanes, the comic dramatist who was known for bringing down people with big egos.  The final portion is a debate between Agathon and Socrates.  Plato draws a verbal picture of Agathon as a flamboyant self-centered character, whereas Socrates comes across as simple and unfashionable.  These pairings help produce the comedy and satire of the piece.      The rhetoric of this piece can also be used as a form for the discussion of love in which these characters partake.

  Some of the characters deliver their speeches in an exaggerated manner, such as Eryximachus and Agathon.  Others, like Socrates and Aristophanes, use a plain style.  By the end of the piece Alcibiades, the last speaker, explains in summary that inner beauty is more attractive than outer charm.

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The doctor gives a medical explanation for love, claiming that love will bring peace to the mind, whereas Aristophanes thinks that love is more self-centered, because the lover is looking for self-actualization through the means of love. Socrates has the final summary through expressing the ideas of Diotima to the other party guests that love in its purest form wants eternally to be immortal and also wants the good and the beautiful to be the focus of its immortality.      Socrates used humor as well as structure provided by drama, rhetoric, and the Socratic method of question and answer to get his message concerning love across not only to the guests at the party, but eventually to the world.  This piece has been the foundation upon which Western culture’s idea of love was based.

  Although Socrates’ students loved him, the state, not surprisingly, did not for several reasons.  The city-state leaders did not like the idea that Socrates questioned the popular religions of the day. Works Cited      Life Books, 1977.      1989.      plato/p71sy/symposium.html>”Plato’s Symposium. “�

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