Plato’s symposium and Odyssey

Love is the feeling that we perceiving on daily basis but most of us are not able to give a convincing definition. The love that mentioned in Plato’s symposium is demonstrated well in Homer’s Odyssey. In Plato’s symposium, Phaedrus brought up an intriguing point in which he split general love into common love and heavenly love. Common love is basically depicting human’s vulgar desires, which mostly reflect on possession of body. In Odyssey, Calypso imprisoned Odysseus for ten years because she “love” Odysseus in “common” way, however, it is questionable that the passion that Calypso had on Odysseus is real love. Therefore, Phaedrus followed up by talked about heavenly love in which described as the passion that beyond sexual desire. Heavenly love could be knowledge, spirit, or other characteristics that bring one person to the another without the involvement of body’s desires. For example, the love that Calypso had on Odysseus may not be classified as heavenly love from my personal perspective because her imprisonment is very likely violated his will. Penelope’s love, nevertheless, shall be called heavenly love. She rejected the chance to select one of the suitors to become new King in order to receive both sexual desire and luxury life. Same as the love that Odysseus had on Penelope, he encountered various difficulties through his venture in order to go back to his city for his family. His heavenly love is demonstrated by his responsibilities and bravery.

2 thoughts on “Plato’s symposium and Odyssey

  1. Phaedrus has an interesting definition of love that goes back to some of the points in my post. In one definition he describes love as, one of a mindless desire that is amoral, not good or bad, and that Socrates later states is the way most people describe love in the symposium. Socrates believes that people focus on the subject of love, the thing being desired, and not the desire (love) itself. The second definition is that love is a higher thing that is good and in your case brings Odysseus and Penelope back together despite the long period of time they spent apart, yet Socrates would say that this definition focuses too much on object receiving the love, whether knowledge, spirit, or faithfulness and not love itself.

  2. I wrote about the same works as you, however I have to disagree with your statement that Odysseus’ love was ‘heavenly love’. It’s mentioned during that the Symposium that real love, or heavenly love, entails that the two individuals share a longing for one another that makes them want to become one. This is clearly not displayed here as he was implied to have had affairs many a time throughout the novel. In my opinion, his love was a common one.

Comments are closed.