Plato Symposium: Spiritual Love

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.

1 thought on “Plato Symposium: Spiritual Love

  1. In regards to “They will feel shameful with each other in acting something bad” one may also conclude that with love comes respect. When Pausiania emphasizes on the points in which she mentions that the spirit is to guide lovers and learn something valuable. One of the valuables she may be talking is of respect (as to one’s nature, respect someone mentally, and etc.) or at least that’s that vibe that she is giving to the reader. In my opinion respect is something of great importance in a mental or physical relationship that exists between 2 individuals.

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