Love comes in many different forms. Whether it be within a man and woman, man and another man, or woman and another woman; love is feeling compassion and happiness with another person. Sappho makes it clear that love is truly based on feelings and emotions. She continuously uses metaphors throughout each of her poems to portray love. In Poem 16, the first line says “Some men say and army of horse and some men say an army on foot and some say an army of ships is the most beautiful thing on the black earth. But I say it is what you love” (Poem 16, 1-4). Love is something that brings her happiness and when there is no love and her heart is broken, she wishes to be dead. Sappho is quite the opposite from Lysistrata whom wishes to create a pact with the women of Sparta and Athens to withhold an important element of love, sex, from their husbands. Lysistrata isn’t very empowered by love and thinks of herself as an independent individual rather than a shadow behind a man or spouse for that matter.
Describe how Plato, Sappho, and/or Catullus conceive of love (and/or friendship). You can choose to only discuss one of the three works or compare two or three of them. You can also choose to focus more specifically on either the lover or the beloved if you like.
Sappho’s notion of love is filled with negativity; anger, jealousy, alienation. Moreover, she strays from the traditional sense of love and instead embraces homosexuality, a subject that I would imagine was condemned at the time. Poem 94 “I simply want to be dead / Weeping she left me” portrays the powerful feelings Sappho had for another woman, but the lack of reciprocity from her female lover leaves her feeling alienated and angry. In Poem 16, Sappho emphasizes that love is more important than war, and yearns for her lover Anaktoria, who is now gone — “I would rather see her lovely step / and the motion of light on her face / than chariots of Lydians or ranks / of foot soldiers in arms.” As shown in fragment 51, Sappho is able to express these extreme feelings of love when she says “I don’t know what to do / two states of mind in me.” She masterfully evokes a sense of distance from her lover and herself.
Analyze a literary device–most likely an image or metaphor–or series of devices you find in Plato, Sappho, or Catullus.
In Sappho poems, we can find out she was a lesbian through the metaphor and subtext. She likes to use first person point of view to describe what she was doing in the poem, in order to interpreted her passion and love with men and women. For example, “For many crowns of violets and roses at my side you put on”(poem 94 p641). She uses crowns of violets and roses as a metaphor to express her homo-sensual romantic relationship between she and her women lovers. Since the crowns of violets and roses are represented the women sexual organs. The lesbian love(according to oxford dictionary the word lesbian is derived from Greek Lesbios, from Lesbos, home of Sappho.) is also expressed through the poems. Sappho shows us her desire on other beautiful women. In fragment 112, she states “… you have the bride for whom you prayed gracious your form and your eyes as honey: desire is poured upon your lovely face…” She is so jealous on that groom who is going to marry a beautiful bride. The word between the lines shows us her love and lust are way beyond sexuality.
Describe how Plato, Sappho, and/or Catullus conceive of love (and/or friendship).
In the time of Plato’s Symposium, the ideal concept of love is different from our modern view of love. Pausanias points out two types of love: Common Love and Heavenly Love, with Heavenly Love being the better of the two. Common Love occurs between a man and a woman or a man and a young boy, while Heavenly Love occurs between an older man and a younger man. This distinction is important as women and young boys are deemed unintelligent or immature. The main differentiation between the two types of love lies in the purpose each love strives for. In Common Love, the end goal is just sexual gratification. In Heavenly Love, the purpose lies deeper; a young man falls in love with an older lover for the sake of bettering himself. In Heavenly Love, the ends also justify the means; even if the love between the young man and older lover involves sexual gratification, as long as the ultimate purpose is to make the young man wiser and more virtuous, it is acceptable. While Heavenly Love was held in higher regards and thought to be the ideal love, Pausanias’ Common Love is more similar to the modern concept of love—love in a “romantic” way. Heavenly Love, on the other hand, is akin to the modern concept of mentorship than love.
Describe how Plato, Sappho, and/or Catullus conceive of love (and/or friendship). You can choose to only discuss one of the three works or compare two or three of them. You can also choose to compare their views on love with The Odyssey, Oedipus Rex, or Lysistrata. You can also choose to focus more specifically on either the lover or the beloved if you like.
Sappho’s concept of love is extremely emotional and powerful. To Sappho, love is not a science, a weakness nor a triviality – love is the force that drives the human spirit; the sole emotion upon which all of life’s meaning is based upon. For example in Poem 16, Sappho (through Anne Carson’s translation), writes, ” Some men say an army of horse and some men say an army on foot…is the most beautiful thing…But i say it is what you love.” Although the words are simple, they are highly evocative of the high status she puts the emotion love upon. In the same poem, she later writes, “I would rather see her lovely step and the motion of light on her face than chariots of Lydius’ or ranks of footsoldiers in arms.” In those days, military might was highly prized in Greek society, which shows just how strongly Sappho believes in love. Her tone, her description, and her words all show that Sappho was a true romantic.
Q: Describe how Plato, Sappho, and/or Catullus conceive of love (and/or friendship). You can choose to only discuss one of the three works or compare two or three of them. You can also choose to compare their views on love with The Odyssey, Oedipus Rex, or Lysistrata. You can also choose to focus more specifically on either the lover or the beloved if you like.
Through the beginning conversation about love among Phaedrus and Pausiania, we can see Plato’s basic views on love. He pursues more on spiritual love than sexual love. These two people help him establish his main ideas of love. First person to give the speech is Phaedrus. He points out that love is most ancient god which is most powerful to help man gain the virtue. The young man beloved and the old lover could get greatest benefits from each other. They will feel shameful with each other in acting something bad. And they will even be brave to die in front of their loved partners. From my perspective, love is mutual thing among lover and beloved. The way to establish their mutual feelings is to know how to share their joys and sorrows: Feel shameful when somebody do something shameful or feel happy when somebody do something honorable. And the base for keeping this sharing feeling is their spirits. Then Pausianias emphasizes the points that the spirits is to guide lovers and beloved to learn something valuable from each other. He sorts love into two kinds: heavenly love and common love. In his minds, common love is more about body and sexual acts. However, heavenly love is concerning more about intelligence and minds. Someone were to do something in order to gain influence for favor rather than for money is supposed be achieved the heavenly loves. It’s true that love is not only about substances like the money or the women’s body. It’s just for a moment pleasure or to satisfied current needs. More people need to know about love is to use their spirits and their intelligence to cover the desire for the substances.
Question: Describe how Plato conceive of love (and/or friendship).
What makes Plato’s Symposium so different from other texts is the many different perspectives that Plato provides with regards to the issue of love and it’s purpose. In the text, different Athenian individuals have a drinking party and every single one gives a speech on love. Phaerus starts off the text by talking about how he believes love exists for the purpose of allowing individuals to gain rewards from the gods by sacrificing themselves for the ones they love. Pausanias speaks next and mentions that there are two types of love, the base kind based around sex and a noble type of love based around affection. The second type is the one he approves of and is the type of love that is similar to the one that Phaerus spoke of prior.
Eryxicamus speaks about love next, discussing how it is everywhere in society and allows people and the gods to be in harmony with each other. After that, Aristophanes speaks about love, making up a ridiculous story about how men and women were originally one being, separated by the gods and love is the desire to become one being again. Agathon and Socrates speak next, with Agathon discussing the associations with love and beauty and then Socrates proceeding to dismantle his claims and bring up Platonic love in the form of a dialogue. Alcibiades goes last and doesn’t speak much about love as much he talks about his love for Socrates. While the text obviously did not happen in real life, it could serve to show that Plato used the perspectives of multiple characters to talk about love being it being such as broad and varied topic.
Analyze a literary device–most likely an image or metaphor–or series of devices you find in Plato, Sappho, or Catullus.
Sappho’s view of love is different from that of the writers of her time. From her poems you can see that she believed two women can love one another. Even though many of her works have been lost and we are only left with fragments and incomplete poems , this would be the best assumption that could be made. In poem one, the mood of the poem allows you feel the burning passion that Sappho ( or female) has for this woman. She starts off by pleading with the Aphrodite whom is the goddess of love to not have her heart broken. She wants to make sure that the women whom she dearly loves will love her the same way too. Asking of Aphrodite to assist her and make sure that this comes to fruition.
Poem 94 continues to highlight love between two women as like poem 1. This poem however shows an argument that happens between a Sappho and a woman she is in a relationship with. The imagery provided in the poem highlights the beautiful moments that they shared with one another. The vivid and descriptive language used allows you to see the love they once had for one another.
The main theme of the dialogue Symposium by Plato and Aristophanes’s Lysistrata is love. Love is interpreted in many different aspects and beliefs in both stories. In Symposium, most people in the speech believe that love is a god and something good thing, “Love is a great god, wonderful in many ways to gods and men, and most marvelous of all is the way he came into being” (872, Plato). Pausanias brings a point that love has two types: Common and Heavenly love. Common love is the satisfaction of sexual desire and Heavenly love is the connection of souls by praising. Common love could be immoral because it leads to the strong desire of sexual attraction instead of soul. In Aristophanes’s Lysistrata, the protagonist Lysistrata uses the sexual desire to achieve her goal which is to bring a peace. She and her followers refuse to have sex until their husbands end the war. It indicates that Lysistrata uses “common love” to increase men’s desire of sexual attraction which lead men to do what women want. It shows that how people love each other involves in sexual desire, not the soul. Diotima in Symposium supports the idea of common love because the purpose of love is reproduction. She believes physical contact is necessary in love. In final, Socrates argues that love is neither beautiful nor ugliness; neither moral nor immoral. According to him, love cannot be beautiful because it leads to the desire of keeping what is beautiful.
The term “love” is not an easy thing to define or talk about and in Plato’s Symposium the reader is presented with many ideas of what love can be and why those ideas can be misleading. During the symposium, Phaedrus suggests that love is one of the oldest and strongest forces and that it inspires people to behave with good morals. Eryximachus picks up saying that love inspires order in not only people but in the arts and sciences as well. Aristophanes and Agathon say that love is young, wise, and beautiful inspiring people to search for their other half. Socrates however, does not buy into their speeches and instead says that love is not all of these good things (beauty, wisdom, virtue, etc) but it is instead the desire for those good things, and that in their speeches the other men confused the topic with the things they love. Desire that in Socrates mind isn’t bad or good. This conflict shows suggests that Plato sees love as an amoral concept (not good or bad) that is hard to grasp for people, since they talk instead about the thing they love and not love itself when they talk.