Valentine’s Day Symposium

I proposed blogging about love today, as my own personal tribute, not only to Valentine’s Day, but to Plato’s ‘The Symposium’. I’m fascinated by this dinner party of diverse individuals, each expressing his own idea of love. Never mind how good, or praiseworthy his speech is, his speech shows what love means to him. It reveals a bit about that character himself, what he’s like. Phaedrus describes how enobling the sentiment of love is, how it brings out what is heroic in lovers, as well as any person, who truly loves. Pausanius splits love into two, comparing and contrasting sexual desire with a strong, emotional attachment. Eryximachus rambles about, flitting here and there, in comparing love to the practice of medicine, music, and order versus disorder. Aristophanes tells a comic fable of how love is the quest of every person to find his/her lost other half. Agathon paints a romantic, idealized picture of love with pretty words. Socrates dissects Agathon’s pretty speech with questions, before relating his own previous debate on the subject with the wise woman, Their discourse uncovers an even greater love lying behind love itself, which many might consider akin to religious devotion. Most touching of all to me was the gate crashing Alcibiades’ personal tale, of how he came to truly love Socrates, after being rejected by him. Each one of the speeches about love creates a picture of the speaker, who creates another aspect of love with his words. For there are as many kinds of love as there are people, who feel love. There are even more kinds of love, which people dream of. What type of love would you, or a character of yours feel? Take a moment to think about it, blog about it. What exactly does love mean to you?

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