The Ancient Greeks had around 30 different words to describe various types of love. The seven main ones were agape (love of humanity), storge (familial love), pragma (enduring love), philautia (self-respect), philia (love after a shared experience), eros (romantic love), and ludus (childish love). Because these forms of love are meant for different people, they are expressed differently. For instance, familial and enduring love involve cooperation, support, loyalty, and care among the people sharing those relationships. However, romantic and childish love are are not as serious, and as a result, these types of love do not last long.
Aristophanes defines love as the “pursuit of wholeness,” implying that true love eventually leads you to goodness. He goes on to say that once one finds their other half, they are “overwhelmed, to an amazing extent, with affection, concern, and love.” This rather positive view of love is quite opposite from Ovid’s view. Ovid treats love like a realist, recognizing that it can be heartbreaking, even going on to compare it to war. Ovid also warns his readers about the dangers of love by saying “if you’re uncertain at all, never step over the sill” (183). In other words, he is encouraging them to love rationally, because he is aware of the dangers of heartbreak. In fact, Ovid wrote an entire book about how to deal with heartbreak, titled “The Remedies for Love.” There is nothing in Aristophanes speech, or The Symposium itself that mentions how to deal with getting over someone, further emphasizing the idea that the greeks had a rather idealistic view of the emotion, not fully recognizing its detrimental effects.
Love is exclusive between the loved and lover because humans tend to prioritize love above all else in the world as it leads to fulfillment. For the beginning of my paper, I intend to compare two useful arguments from Aristophanes and Socrates that transpired in Plato’s The Symposium as their ideas apply to the exclusivity of love. Additionally, my paper will contain my reflection on love through examining the importance of love to human flourishing, perfect and imperfect loves, what and who love is properly for, the relationship between love and beauty, and the relationship between love and desire in order to further comprehend the encompassing relationship between love and exclusivity.
According to Aristophanes, love (eros) – the highest form of love that one human being can feel towards another – is the desire of dissected halves, one to another, for restoring the wholeness of the nature’s origin. I will explain what does Aristophanes mean by his metaphor and why do people fall in love.
It can be remembered that his speech described love in several ways. In his speech, he identified love as beautiful, wise, and young, sensitive, as well as the object of desire. Socrates then contradicts Agathon’s description, making suggestions that Agathon and the love he describes is not really love itself but the object of love’s desire. He compares himself to love that is fluid that is evidenced by his grace, a trait that is commonly accepted to belong to Love alone. Agathon also claims that love is fair and should be treated fairly as well.
He comes in and responds to Phaedrus’ point that rather than being an ancient god, love is “the youngest” god and is “forever young” (Symposium 195b). Youth is one out of four attractive characteristics of love that should be praised. Love is also delicate, as it does not “step on men’s skulls” nor on the ground, living in the minds of men and gods (Symposium 195e). Lastly, love can familiarize itself with the mind and the world in order to adapt when necessary.
Simultaneously to the conventionalization of the troubadour love poetry, also the laws of love were organized and classified through the imitation of Ovid (Mott 5). It is from his Ars Amatoria that the idea of love as a virtue and art originally arose (Mott 55).
Augustine is guided by the neoplatonic tradition that everything that exists is good. Those lower in the scale of being are not bad or evil, but are only less complete and far from created in the image of God who is eternal and unchanging. All creation is created in the existence of God, and thus they must seek a desire to return to God. Plato’s Symposium and Augustine’s Confessions share parallels and contrasts in certain aspects of this desire, despite the two writer’s difference in time.
In the Greek Era, many philosophers tried to define love, especially one that was timeless. Throughout literature, there have various perspectives on love. In The Iliad, which was during the Greek era, there was greater importance on honor than love. In The Confessions, which was written during the early Christian age, there was a great importance for love of God. In Gilead, which is a modern novel, there is great importance for love in general, especially that for family. Out of all the Socratic definitions of love in The Symposium, Diotima had the most universal definition of love, which was “the desire to possess the good forever” (206A). To possess the good forever, one must reproduce with their body or reproduce with their soul. Diotima’s idea of the desire to possess the good forever through reproduction of the body and of the soul is present in all three sections of literature including The Iliad, Confessions and Gilead.
In Aristophanes’ speech he discussed that love is a desire that we have. He goes on by telling a story about the world with three genders, male, female and the common sex. Each of them were powerful and was ambitious and because of that they attacked the Gods. Since Zeus was not happy and as a punishment he split them up in half. Because of this the creatures became half as powerful and changed to male and female. With them being separated it causes distress in them and wanting to embrace the other half. When one was gone they tried to find another one to embrace them. Since they really want to be together it is a desire to be whole. I agree with his notion that love is a desire to be whole. When it comes to love its is usually two people that want to be together. Being
Love has many different meanings to different people. For a child, love is what he or she feels for his mommy and daddy. To teenage boy, love is what he should feel for his girlfriend of the moment, only because she says she loves him. But as we get older and "wiser," love becomes more and more confusing. Along with poets and philosophers, people have been trying to answer that age-old question for centuries: What is love?
In the Symposium on that night, Socrates’ speech is one of the most important of the night as he is clearly a central figure, admired by the other guests. Socrates begins by presenting his argument that if love is nothing, then it is of something, and if it is of something, then it is of something that is desired, and therefore of something that is not already possessed, which is then usually beautiful and good. Human beings begin by loving physical beauty in another person, then progress to love of intellect and from that level to see the connection among people and ultimately, the lover of beauty enjoys a kind of revelation or vision of universal beauty, which we find ourselves in the pursuit of during our own study of Plato’s work. The
Love is difficult to define, difficult to measure, and difficult to understand. Love is what great writers write about, great singers sing about, and great philosophers ponder. Love is a powerful emotion, for which there is no wrong definition, for it suits each and every person differently. Whether love is between family, friends, or lovers, it is an overwhelming emotion that can be experienced in many different ways.
Love is a powerful feeling; it makes you do crazy thing. Many people spend years trying to find it, others give up thinking they’ll never find it. Love has been defined as an intensive feeling of a deep romantic or sexual attachment to someone. Of course, Love doesn 't have to romantic and/or sexual. People who are ace, as in asexual, aromantic and agender, can still be in relationships that are satisfying for them without the needs of a romantic relationship. Familial love is also non-romantic-sexual. However, in this paper, we will be talking about romantic-sexual love, what it is, and why I believe it’s so important to understand and experience.
Love is an abundant emotion that has different degrees. There is familial love, friendly love, unconditional love, and of course romantic love. Romantic love will be the superstar of this article. Romantic love may be around every corner whether between an old couple or a young teenage romance. However, love is not the easiest thing to attain. It is such a simple concept, though a difficult thing to actually have a person’s hands on.