The Symposium

The Symposium

In the course of a lively drinking party, a group of Athenian intellectuals exchange views on eros, or desire. From their conversation emerges a series of subtle reflections on gender roles, sex in society, and the sublimation of basic human instincts. The discussion culminates in a radical challenge to conventional views by Plato's mentor, Socrates, who advocates transcen...

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Title:The Symposium
Author:Plato
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Edition Language:English

The Symposium Reviews

  • Trevor

    In this book Socrates argues that it is not always a good idea to have sex with boys and Aristophanes explains we were once co-joined creatures of three sexes - either male/female, male/male or female/female and were shaped like balls. How could anyone not find this a book worth reading?

  • Ahmad Sharabiani

    Συμπόσιον = Symposium, Plato

    The Symposium (Ancient Greek: Συμπόσιον) is a philosophical text by Plato dated c. 385–370 BC. It depicts a friendly contest of extemporaneous speeches given by a group of notable men attending a banquet. The men include the philosopher Socrates, the general and political figure Alcibiades, and the comic playwright Aristophanes.

    عنوانها: ضیافت؛ سخن در خصوص عشق؛ اثر: افلاطون؛ تاریخ نخستین خوانش: ماه سپتامبر سال 1984 میلادی

    عنوان: ضیافت، یا، سخن در خصوص عشق؛ اثر: افلاطون

    Συμπόσιον = Symposium, Plato

    The Symposium (Ancient Greek: Συμπόσιον) is a philosophical text by Plato dated c. 385–370 BC. It depicts a friendly contest of extemporaneous speeches given by a group of notable men attending a banquet. The men include the philosopher Socrates, the general and political figure Alcibiades, and the comic playwright Aristophanes.

    عنوانها: ضیافت؛ سخن در خصوص عشق؛ اثر: افلاطون؛ تاریخ نخستین خوانش: ماه سپتامبر سال 1984 میلادی

    عنوان: ضیافت، یا، سخن در خصوص عشق؛ اثر: افلاطون؛ ترجمه و پیشگفتار: محمدعلی فروغی؛ ویراستار و پی نوشت: محمدابراهیم امینی فرد؛ مشخصات نشر: تهران، جامی، 1385، در 160 ص، از مجموعه افلاطون، شابک: 9642575000؛ کتاب با عنوان «ضیافت: درس عشق از زبان افلاطون» با ترجمه «محمود صناعی» توسط انتشارات جامی در سال 1381 نیز منتشر شده است، چاپ دوم 1386، چاپ سوم 1389؛ موضوع: عشق، سقراط (469 تا 399 قبل از میلاد) - فلسفه یونان

    پس زمین و عشق بودند، که جانشین هرج و مرج و بی شکلی آغازین هستی شدند.

    این رساله از رساله‌ های سقراطی افلاطون است، که در آنها سقراط، چهرهٔ نخست رویداد بوده است. روایتی‌ ست، که در بخشی از آن خوانشگر شاهد گفتگوی بازیگران آن، با یکدیگر است. نام این داستان نیز، اشاره به مهمانی‌هایی دارد، که در یونان باستان برگزار می‌شد، و مهمانان پس از خوردن خوراک، به نوشیدن باده، و گفتگو و بحث، پیرامون موضوعی مشخص، می‌پرداختند. تاریخ نگارش این رساله به درستی آشکار نیست، ولی از نشانه ها برمی‌آید، که پس از سال 385 (پیش از میلاد)، نوشته‌ شده باشد. ا. شربیانی

  • Riku Sayuj

    Plato’s overriding concern as a teacher is how to achieve

    or how to live the good life. However, this is as difficult a topic to capture in teaching as it is to achieve in action. Hence he approaches the topic by defining many peripheral topics - by showing various aspects of the good life.

    In

    too the same ultimate question is approached, this time through the question of how to love perfectly. Many wonderful explanation of Love are given but in the end it boils down to how to live the good life  through the question of what should one love to do and hence what should one do in life. The answer that emerges is simple - love only things that are ends in themselves, do only them. Ends-in-themselves are not to done for any further end, to achieve something else. And most importantly, they should be eternal.

    Plato’s dialogues are fictional and often richly dramatic snippets of philosophical imagination. The Symposium is a particularly dramatic work. It is set at the house of Agathon, a tragic poet celebrating his recent poetic victory. Those present are amongst the intellectual elite of the day, including an exponent of heroic poetry (Phaedrus), an expert in the laws of various Greek states (Pausanias), a representative of medical expertise (Eryximachus), a comic poet (Aristophanes) and a philosopher (Socrates). And the political maverick Alcibiades towards the end.

    The Symposium consists mainly of a series of praise speeches (encomia), delivered in the order in which these speakers are seated:

    They begin with the discourse of Phaedrus, and the series contains altogether eight parts divided into two principal sequences:

    Love makes us noble and gods honor it. Love is the greatest god. Love is nobility. This is the simplest of the speeches.

    An unconditional praising of Love and this from the same Phaedrus who unconditionally condemns it

    !

    (

    ): Wants to define Love before praising it. Love is not in itself noble and worthy of praise; it depends on whether the sentiments it produces in us are themselves noble. Differentiates between “Common Love” & “Divine Love”: How hasty vulgar lovers are, and therefore how unfair to their loved ones?

    Pausanias goes on from this to provide a theory on the origins of Social Customs (of courtship, etc):

    Makes one wonder if we should really be proud of our modern methods, sans the niceties of elaborate courtship.

    Differentiates between “Healthy” & “Unhealthy” Love, doctor that he is.

    Everything sound and healthy in the body must be encouraged and gratified. Conversely, whatever is unhealthy and unsound must be frustrated and rebuffed: that’s what it is to be an expert in medicine.

    Bases Love on the conception of Longing & Completion - beautifully illustrated in his famous

     We used to be complete wholes in our original nature, and now “Love” is the name for our pursuit of wholeness, for our desire to be complete.

    Plato also uses this occasion to make fun of Aristophanes by painting whims lewd and bawdy man, given to sensual pleasures and fits of hiccups. There are even direct references to Aristophanes’s irreverent clouds:

    Decides to stop the praising of Love and focus on the Qualities of Love -

    He goes on toe elaborate on the perfection of Love’s qualities - about the god’s justice, moderation, bravery and wisdom - and how Love confers all these qualities to its devotees. Thus, Love is the source of all good, according to Agathon.

    He proceeds through the same arguments as in Phaedrus and arrives at:

    Love is a lack and desire to fill that. It is a desire for something lacking or a desire for preservation of what has been acquired. What constitutes eudaimonia is not to be had in a moment in time.

    If this is the objective of Love, The next question is how to pursue this objective.

    Answer: Seek Love in Beauty; and Reproduction and Birth, in Beauty - The argument does not deviate much from that in Phaedrus; readers will want to compare this speech on Love with those of Socrates in Phaedrus.

    Socrates’ account thus moves from an analysis of the nature of such desire to an account of knowledge and its acquisition; for if we all have a desire for our own good and happiness, the issue becomes how to identify correctly the nature of this good. He defines intellectual activity to be the best good, and more central to human happiness than any other activity.

    An

    almost pointless speech, does not contribute much to the dialogue directly, and yet it does, by adding to the context:

    Praise Socrates & Distance Socrates from the follies of this young man.

    Alcibiades’ account reveals that although he desires the wisdom he perceives in Socrates, there is a competing value pulling him away: “

    This conflict between the attractions of wisdom and the sort of excellence that earns honour from the people is the very one argued out theoretically in Socrates’ speech. Alcibiades’ choice to organize his life around the pursuit of personal honor exonerates Socrates from any association with the terrible events that resulted from his choices. Socrates was not responsible for the corruption.

    Also, show how even Socrates’ teachings are not flawless. Even Philosophy is dependent on good students to produce results.

    The Symposium belongs with the dialogues concerned with Education, especially the moral education of the young. Its discussion of the nature and goals of loving relationships takes us to the heart of Plato’s concern with the good life and how it is achieved. That Education and Desires are seen to play such an important role in moral development draws on a theme elaborated in the

    , and is concerned with the development of character and how that contributes to the good life.

    Though Plato leads us to the lofty heights of the Forms as the true end of our desire for good things and happiness, his account is nonetheless one that resonates beyond such abstractions. The Symposium does not contain a fully developed theory of the self, although it outlines with considerable care the dimensions of concern which preoccupy human beings. Its achievement is a rich and unitary image of human striving.

    Through this conception, even if narrow, of a flourishing life where certain things are advocated to the young as valuable, the dialogue explores the nature of

    , which may be translated as "happiness" or "flourishing".

    Thus, Plato’s concern with desire and its role in the good life leads to his conclusion: One’s ability to act well and to lead a worthwhile and good life depends, in part, on desiring the right kinds of things and acting on that basis. What, or whom, one desires determines the choices one makes and thereby affects one’s chances of leading a worthwhile and happy life.

  • Shaghayegh.l3

    چند وقت پيش در جواب دوستم كه مى گفت دلم ميخواد عاشق بشم گفتم من اصلن نميدونم عشق چى هست ! نميدونستم كمتر از يه ماه بعد چشمم به يه همچين كتابى ميخوره و دو ساعته مى خونمش و حرفمو پس ميگيرم ..

    چه كتابى ، چه توصيفاتى .. حَض كامل و ديگر هيچ .

  • Glenn Russell

    Plato’s

    is one of the best loved classics from the ancient world, a work of consummate beauty as both philosophy and as literature, most appropriate since the topic of this dialogue is the nature of love and includes much philosophizing on beauty. In the spirit of freshness, I will focus on one very important section, where Socrates relates the words of his teacher Diotima on the birth of Love explained in the context of myth:

    “Following the birth of Aphrodite, the other gods were havin

    Plato’s

    is one of the best loved classics from the ancient world, a work of consummate beauty as both philosophy and as literature, most appropriate since the topic of this dialogue is the nature of love and includes much philosophizing on beauty. In the spirit of freshness, I will focus on one very important section, where Socrates relates the words of his teacher Diotima on the birth of Love explained in the context of myth:

    “Following the birth of Aphrodite, the other gods were having a feast, including Resource, the son of Invention. When they’d had dinner, Poverty came to beg, as people do at feasts, and so she was by the gate. Resource was drunk with nectar (this was before wine was discovered), went into the garden of Zeus, and fell into drunken sleep. Poverty formed the plan of relieving her lack of resources by having a child by Resource; she slept with him and became pregnant with Love. So the reason Love became a follower and attendant of Aphrodite is because he was conceived on the day of her birth; also he is naturally a lover of beauty and Aphrodite is beautiful.”

    Diotima continues but let’s pause here as according to many teachers within the Platonic tradition there are at least two critical points to be made about this passage. The first is how love is conceived in the garden of Zeus, and that’s Zeus as mythical personification of Nous or true intellectual understanding. In other words, for one seeking philosophic wisdom, love is born and exists within the framework of truth and understanding, thus, in order to have a more complete appreciation of the nature of love, one must be committed to understanding the nature of truth. The second point is how within the Platonic tradition, truth is linked with beauty. Two of my own Plato teachers were adamant on this point, citing how modern people who separate beauty from truth can never partake of the wisdom traditions. (Incidentally, these exact two points are made eloquently by Pierre Grimes in this video:

    ).

    Although I am not a strict Platonist, I tend to agree. When I encounter people who have sharp minds and are keenly analytical but communicate their ideas in snide or sarcastic unbeautiful language or are in any way disingenuous or degrading of others, I find such behavior very much in bad taste. In a very real sense, I feel these individuals have cut themselves off from the world’s wisdom traditions, particularly from the Platonic tradition.

    I wanted to focus on this one paragraph to convey a sense of the richness of this magnificent Platonic dialogue. One could mine wisdom nuggets from each and every paragraph. And, yes, I get a kick every time I read the speech of Aristophanes featuring those cartwheeling prehumans with four arms and four legs. Also, two fun facts: One: reflecting on Alcibiades, the history of philosophy records another incredibly handsome man with a similar great head of curly hair and full curly beard, a man (fortunately!) with a much stronger character – the Stoic philosopher and Roman Emperor, Marcus Aurelius. Two: Diogenes Laertius reports the Greek philosopher Epicurus also wrote a book with the title

    . Unfortunately, this piece of writing is lost to us. Darn!

  • Foad

    افلاطون، در رساله ی بسیار دلکش "ضیافت" ، بحث مفصلی راجع به حقیقت "عشق" می کند.

    رساله به بازگویی ماجرای یک ضیافت می پردازد. آگاتون میهمانی ای گرفته و نخبگان را دعوت کرده، از آن جمله است: سقراط استاد افلاطون. بحث به چیستی عشق می رسد و هر کس از میهمانان سخنرانی ای زیبا و غزل گونه در ستایش عشق می کند.

    از جمله، یکی می گوید: انسان ها در ابتداى آفرينش شان، جفت جفت به هم متصل بودند، و شكلى كروى مى ساختند. اين جفت هاى به هم پيوسته، چنان كامل و قدرتمند بودند، كه خواستند بر ضد خدايان آسمان بشورند، و خدايان ك

    افلاطون، در رساله ی بسیار دلکش "ضیافت" ، بحث مفصلی راجع به حقیقت "عشق" می کند.

    رساله به بازگویی ماجرای یک ضیافت می پردازد. آگاتون میهمانی ای گرفته و نخبگان را دعوت کرده، از آن جمله است: سقراط استاد افلاطون. بحث به چیستی عشق می رسد و هر کس از میهمانان سخنرانی ای زیبا و غزل گونه در ستایش عشق می کند.

    از جمله، یکی می گوید: انسان ها در ابتداى آفرينش شان، جفت جفت به هم متصل بودند، و شكلى كروى مى ساختند. اين جفت هاى به هم پيوسته، چنان كامل و قدرتمند بودند، كه خواستند بر ضد خدايان آسمان بشورند، و خدايان كه ترسيدند از ايشان شكست بخورند، تدبيرى انديشيدند: اين جفت هاى كروى را از هم جدا كردند.

    از آن پس جفت هاى از هم جدا افتاده، ديگر فكر نبرد با خدايان از سرشان افتاد؛ چرا كه حالا در به در به دنبال نيمه ى گمشده ى خود مى گشتند، و تمام دغدغه شان يافتن "او"يى است كه فقط به وسيله ى او كامل مى شوند.

    نوبت که به سقراط می رسد، با دلخوری می گوید: «من گمان داشتم وقتی گفتید "از چیستی عشق بحث کنیم"، منظورتان بحث دقیق و موشکافانه بود، نه این که صرفاً به عبارت پردازی های شاعرانه بپردازیم.»

    و خودش، بحثی فلسفی و زیبا در حقیقت عشق می کند. به طور خلاصه، می گوید: «به رغم آن چه که شما گفتید، عشق اصلاً زیبا نیست ، بلکه درست بر عکس: عشق در مقابل زیبایی است. عشق در حقیقت "طلب زیبایی" است ، و کسی در "طلب" زیبایی می رود که فاقد آن باشد.»

  • Fatemeh sherafati

    خیلی کتاب خوبی بود.. زیاد پیش اومده بود که بشنوم سقراط از شیوه ی پرسش و پاسخ استفااده می کنه برای بحث کردن.. تو این کتاب اولین بار این دیدم چطور و چقدر هوشمندانه این کار رو انجام میده..

    داستان کتاب در مورد ضیافتیه که برگزار شده و بحث عشق میان حضار پیش میاد. که اول هر کدوم از حاضرین نظرشون رو می گن، و در نهایت سقراط، به طرز دلنشینی از عشق صحبت می کنه که واقعا دوست دارم یک بار دیگه سطرهای مربوط به سقراط رو بخونم.

  • Manny

    OPRAH: Good evening and welcome to

    For people who missed last week's exciting semi-final round,

    beat

    4-1 while

    unexpectedly lost 3-2 to outsider

    . Let's all welcome our finalists!

    OPRAH: And now let me introduce our jury. I'm thrilled to have with us living legend Paul McCar

    OPRAH: Good evening and welcome to

    For people who missed last week's exciting semi-final round,

    beat

    4-1 while

    unexpectedly lost 3-2 to outsider

    . Let's all welcome our finalists!

    OPRAH: And now let me introduce our jury. I'm thrilled to have with us living legend Paul McCartney, world-famous novelist E.L. James, the beautiful and talented Lindsay Lohan, controversial scientist Richard Dawkins and ever-popular hockey mom Sarah Palin!

    OPRAH: Thank you, thank you, thank you. I'm just going to remind you of the rules before we start. Each member of the jury gives us a short speech, and then we count up the votes to see who our lucky winner is. Over to you, Paul!

    MCCARTNEY: Thank

    , Oprah. Well, I look at our two finalists, and you know what I'm thinking? I'm thinking they won that special place they have in our hearts because they told us about Love. And I remember back in 1966 when John gave that interview where he said - no offense intended - "we're more popular than Jesus".

    They gave John a hard time about that, but all he wanted to say was that even though Jesus had shown us the power of Love, maybe, at that exact moment in history, we could do a better job of bringing it to the people and telling them all how amazing Love is. Because it is amazing, isn't it?

    Perhaps some of you remember this song we wrote.

    OPRAH: That's wonderful, Paul, but who are you voting for?

    MCCARTNEY: Oh, er... well, if John were here, I think he'd want me to vote for

    . He was always had a thing for Socrates. George too. Yes, Socrates it is.

    OPRAH: That's terrific, Paul, beautiful, beautiful song. Really takes me back. So Socrates is in the lead, but it's early days yet. Your turn, Erika!

    JAMES: Good evening, and I'm thrilled to be here. Now, I'm sure some of you have read the Fifty Shades books, and I believe a lot of people misunderstand them. It's easy just to think about the sex and the glitz and the limos and the handcuffs and the blindfolds and the whips and the--

    OPRAH: I'm not quite sure what you're trying to say here, Erika.

    JAMES: Just let me finish, Oprah. What most people don't realize is that these books aren't about sex, they're about Love. They're a spiritual journey, where Ana has to help Christian - have you ever wondered why he's called Christian? - find himself and discover the difference between empty eroticism and the redeeming power of--

    OPRAH: I'm afraid I'm going to have to cut you off there, Erika. You'll have to tell us now who you're voting for.

    JAMES: Well, Jesus, of course. Really, Fifty Shades is an allegory, a modern version of Dante's--

    OPRAH: That's incredibly interesting, Erika, and I wish we had more time to talk about it. But now the score's 1-1, and we're moving on to our third member of the jury. Your turn, Lindsay!

    LOHAN: Thank you everyone, and I'd particularly like to thank my parole officer for allowing me to join you tonight. She said it'd be good for me.

    . So, yeah, Love. To me, love's about trying to find my soulmate. I bet there's plenty of you people who feel the same way I do, there's someone out there who's, like, the other half of me and I have to find that person to be complete. You know? And it's really hard to guess who that person is, maybe it's a guy, like, you know, maybe Justin or Ashton or Zac or Ryan, and we were once this person who was half a man and half a woman and we got split apart, or maybe it's a woman, like maybe Sam or--

    OPRAH: Lindsay, that's such a moving thought, but we've got to watch the clock. Who are you voting for?

    LOHAN: Well, duh, Socrates of course. It's all there in the Symposium. The Aristophanes speech. I must have read it a million times.

    OPRAH: Lindsay, thank you so much, and I really hope you find your soulmate one day. You just need to keep looking. So Socrates has taken a 2-1 lead and we're going over to our next speaker. Richard?

    DAWKINS: Ah, yes. Now, I've been sitting here listening to all of you, and I've enjoyed your contributions, but I'm a scientist and I've got to think about things in a scientific way. When I think about love as a scientist, all I ultimately see is tropisms and feedback loops. An organism feels a lack of something - it could be as simple as an

    needing an essential nutrient - and it does what it can to get it. Love is just the concrete expression of that negative feedback loop. There's nothing--

    OPRAH: This all sounds like Socrates's speech. I take it you're voting for him then?

    DAWKINS: What? Oh, no, no, not at all. Jesus, every time.

    I can't stand Platonic forms and all that mystical nonsense. Jesus, now there's a straightforward, plain-speaking person with solid humanist values. Just a shame he got mixed up with the religion business.

    OPRAH: Er - right. Always ready to surprise us, Richard! So it's up to Sarah to cast the deciding vote. Over to you, Sarah!

    PALIN: Well Oprah, I'm afraid I'm not as imaginative as Richard. I'm just a regular small-town girl with regular small-town values, and I was brought up readin' the Sermon on the Mount. Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness' sake, blessed are ye when men shall revile you, smaller government, lower taxes, support Israel, no to--

    OPRAH: Is that all in the Sermon on the Mount, Sarah?

    PALIN: Maybe not in those exact words. But it's there. And you can bet your boots I'm not votin' for a liberal type who hangs around with a bunch of guys what're openly tryin' to get into his-

    PALIN: Anyways. I'm votin' for Jesus.

    OPRAH: Ah - thank you Sarah. Forthright as ever! So that's 3-2 to

    , but well done

    , you were so close. And thank you everyone, particularly Socrates and Mr. Christ, for an amazing and deeply spiritual experience, it's been incredible meeting you all, thank you again, and we'll be back next week.

  • Soheil

    بعد از خوندن كتاب بديو،به خاطر اشاره اى كه به اين كتاب در آن شده بود،درصدد خواندنش بر آمدم و البته چيزى نبود كه انتظارش را مى كشيدم.

    آگاتون شاعر جوان و برجسته،ميهمانى اى برپا كرده و جمعى از خردمندان و برجستگان را گردهم آورده است.آنها بعد از باده گسارى تصميم ميگيرند به نوبت در باب عشق سخنرانى كنند.

    ابتدا فايدوروس زبان به سخن مى گشايد و كمى از اروس،خداى عشق مى گويد و ستايشش مى كند.سپس به مدح عشق ميپردازد و از قدرت آن در اتحاد مردم مى گويد و سپس با ذكر مثال هايى بيان مى كند كه افراد عاشق،نزد خدايان ا

    بعد از خوندن كتاب بديو،به خاطر اشاره اى كه به اين كتاب در آن شده بود،درصدد خواندنش بر آمدم و البته چيزى نبود كه انتظارش را مى كشيدم.

    آگاتون شاعر جوان و برجسته،ميهمانى اى برپا كرده و جمعى از خردمندان و برجستگان را گردهم آورده است.آنها بعد از باده گسارى تصميم ميگيرند به نوبت در باب عشق سخنرانى كنند.

    ابتدا فايدوروس زبان به سخن مى گشايد و كمى از اروس،خداى عشق مى گويد و ستايشش مى كند.سپس به مدح عشق ميپردازد و از قدرت آن در اتحاد مردم مى گويد و سپس با ذكر مثال هايى بيان مى كند كه افراد عاشق،نزد خدايان از منزلت خاصى برخوردارند.

    سپس نوبت پائوسانياس مى شود.او نيز به ستايش عشق ادامه مى دهد اما ابتدا آن را به دو قسم تبديل مى كند.در اساطير يونان،اروس خداى عشق،فرزند افروديت خداى زيباييست.اما دو نسخه از افروديت وجود دارد:يكى فرزند زئوس و ديونه است كه جوانتر است و هوا و هوس هاى جنسى و جذابيت ظاهرى بين زن و مرد را به كار مى بندد و ديگرى فرزند اورانوس(مادر ندارد) كه سالخورده تر است و فقط در حيطه ى عشق مردان به يكديگر عمل مى كند و خردمند و حكيم تر است.پائوسانياس نتيجه مى گيرد كه دو خداى عشق متفاوت نيز دركار است:يكى كه عشق زمينى زن و مرد را پديد مى آورد و مبتذل تر است و دومى كه عشق مرد-مرد را عهده دار است و آسمانى و حكيمانه ست.

    نوبت آروكسيماخوس طبيب است.او نيز به دنبال مدحيات،عشق را به علوم و موجودات ديگر بسط مى دهد و مى گويد كه هرگاه دو چيز متضاد براى رسيدن به هماهنگى با يكديگر متحد شوند،عشق پديد مى آيد.

    خطابه ى آريستوفانس درنوع خود جالب است.او مى گويد كه در زمان هاى دور،انسان ها علاوه بر مذكر و مؤنث،جنس سومى داشتند كه صاحب ويژگى هاى دو جنس ديگر و به نوعى خنثى بود.انسانها ٤ دست،٤پا،دو سَر و دو آلت تناسلى داشتند و چون سرمنشأ آفرينش آنها اجرام آسمانى بود(مردان از خورشيد،زنان از زمين و جنس خنثى از ماه)بدن هايشان شكلى دايره اى و گِرد داشت.آنها كامل،قدرتمند و مغرور بودند و تصميم به شورش عليه خدايان مى گيرند.زئوس هم براى تنبيه و تضعيف آنها،تصميم مى گيرد كه همه ى انسان ها را از وسط نصف كند!درنتيجه از آن "نيمه شدن" به بعد،انسان ها مدام به دنبال "نيمه ى گمشده" ى خود هستند و وقتى پيدايش كنند وجودشان سرشار از عشق و سرمستى مى شود.

    بعد نوبت خطابه ى آگاتون است كه باز هم صرفا ستايش و مدح و غزل سرايى ست.

    و اما سقراط...او كه گويى از اين ستايش هاى بيهوده كسل شده،اول با روش پرسش و پاسخ خودش،كمى با آگاتون مجادله مى كند و اساس خطابه اش را زير سوال ميبرد؛سپس خودش دست به كار مى شود.او از زن خردمندى به نام گيوتيما،نقل مى كند كه عشق در شب تولد افروديت،از آميزش پروس خداى چاره جويى و پنيا خداى تهى دستى آفريده شد و اينگونه ارتباط تنگاتنگى با زيبايى افروديت پيدا كرد.عشق به خاطر ويژگى مادرش تنگدست است و هميشه خالى از زيباييست،اما به خاطر ويژگى چاره جويى حاصل از پدرش،هميشه به دنبال راهكار است و به هر راهى كه شده به سمت زيبايى حركت مى كند.در حقيقت عشق زيبا نيست اما هميشه در طلب آن است.عشق مى خواهد زيبايى و خوبى را براى "هميشه" از آن خود كند.پس مى توان نتيجه گرفت كه عشق به دنبال جاودانگى نيز هست و وقتى انسان را موجودى خلاق و آفريننده مى يابد،نهايتا راه چاره را در "آفرينش زيبايى" مى يابد.به اين دليل است زايش فرزندان و يا خلق آثار هنرى و ادبى...

    پس از سقراط،آلكيبيادس-دوست پسر سقراط!- مستِ از باده و شراب،وارد مجلس مى شود و شروع به تمجيد و ستايش سقراط مى كند؛حقيقتا اين بخش،اضافى و فاقد هرگونه فايده ايست.

    در نهايت،اگر به دنبال كتاب فلسفى و كاربردى راجع به مقوله ى عشق هستيد،اين كتاب اصلا مناسب نيست.

  • Richard Derus

    Rating: 2* of five, all for Aristophanes's way trippy remix of the Book of Genesis

    While perusing a review of

    (dreadful tale, yet another fag-must-die-rather-than-love piece of normative propaganda) written by my good friend Stephen, he expressed a desire to read

    before he eventually re-reads this

    deathless work of art. As I have read

    with less than stellar results, I warned him off. Well, see below for what happened next

    Rating: 2* of five, all for Aristophanes's way trippy remix of the Book of Genesis

    While perusing a review of

    (dreadful tale, yet another fag-must-die-rather-than-love piece of normative propaganda) written by my good friend Stephen, he expressed a desire to read

    before he eventually re-reads this

    deathless work of art. As I have read

    with less than stellar results, I warned him off. Well, see below for what happened next.

    So this boring poet dude wins some big-ass prize and has a few buds over for a binge. They're all lying around together on couches, which is as promising a start to a story as I can think of, when the boys decide to stay sober (boo!) and debate the Nature of Luuuv.

    Phaedrus (subject of a previous Socratic dialogue by Plato) gives a nice little speech, dry as a popcorn fart, about how Love is the oldest of the gods, and Achilles was younger than Patroclus, and Alcestis died of love for her husband, and some other stuff I don't remember because I was drifting off, and so I got up to see if I would stay awake better on the patio. It was a little nippy that day.

    So next up is the lawyer. I know, right? Ask a lawyer to talk about love! Like asking a priest to talk about honor, or a politician to talk about common decency! So he pontificates about pederasty for a while, which made me uncomfortable, so I got up to get some coffee. I may have stopped by the brandy bottle on the way back out, I can't recall.

    So after the lawyer tells us when *exactly* it's okay for a grown man to pork a teenager, the doctor chimes in that luuuuuv is the drug, it's everything, man, the whole uuuuuuuniiiiiveeeeeeeeeerse is luuuuv. Who knew they had hippies in those days? I needed more brandy, I mean coffee!, and the text of my ancient Penguin paperback was getting smaller and smaller for some reason, so I went to

    get the magnifying glass so I could see the footnotes.

    Then comes Aristophanes. Now seriously, this is a good bit. Aristophanes, in Plato's world, tells us why we feel whole, complete, when we're with our true love: Once upon a time, we were all two-bodied and two-souled beings, all male, all female, or hermaphroditic. When these conjoined twins fell into disfavor, Zeus cleaved them apart, and for all eternity to come, those souls will wander the earth seeking the other half torn from us.

    Now being Aristophanes, Plato plays it for laughs, but this is really the heart of the piece. Plato quite clearly thought this one through, in terms of what makes us humans want and need love. It's a bizarre version of Genesis, don'cha think?

    So there I was glazed over with

    admiration for the imagination of this ancient Greek boybanger, and I was about to give up and

    take my contemplations indoors when the wind, riffling the pages a bit, caused me to light on an interesting line. I continued with the host's speech.

    Now really...is there anything on this wide green earth more boring than listening to a poet bloviate? Especially about luuuuv? Blah blah noble blah blah youthful yakkity blah brave *snore*

    Then it's Socrates's turn, and I was hoping Plato gave him some good zingers to make up for the tedium of the preceding sixteen years of my life. I mean, the previous speech. It was a little bit hard to hold the magnifying glass, for some reason, and it kept getting in the way of the brandy bottle. I mean, coffee thermos! COFFEE THERMOS.

    I'm not all the way sure what Plato had Socrates say, but it wasn't riveting lemme tell ya what. I woke up, I mean came to, ummm that is I resumed full attention when the major studmuffin and hawttie Alcibiades comes in, late and drunk (!), and proceeds to pour out his unrequited lust for (older, uglier) Socrates. He really gets into the nitty-gritty here, talking about worming his way into the old dude's bed and *still* Socrastupid won't play hide the salami.

    Various noises of incredulity and derision were heard to come from my mouth, I feel sure, though I was a little muzzy by that time, and it is about this point that the

    COFFEE THERMOS slid to the ground and needed picking up. As I leaned to do so, I remember thinking how lovely and soft the bricks looked.

    When I woke up under the glass table top, the goddamned magnifying glass had set what remains of the hair on top of my head on fire.

    The moral of the story is, reading

    should never be undertaken while outdoors.

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