The Teachings Of Phaedrus And Alcibiades

Decent Essays
Phaedrus, an aristocrat, takes the stage first at the symposium. He explains that Erōs is one of the primordial gods, and that the love between a boy and a lover is the greatest love that exists. The lover is meant to guide the boy, and the two must lead each other to examine themselves and feel ashamed. “...[The boy] is especially ashamed before his lover when he is caught in something shameful” (Sym. 178E). Phaedrus later adds that “...Love is...the most powerful in helping men gain virtue and blessedness…” (Sym. 180B). Alcibiades is the perfect example of shame when he speaks about Socrates. He says that “Socrates is the only man in the world who has made [him] feel shame…” (Sym. 216B). Alcibiades adds that Socrates traps him and tells…show more content…
Alcibiades proves what Pausanias has said about Heavenly Love - it’s an attachment to the soul and intelligence of a man, which Alcibiades feels toward Socrates. Eryximachus, a doctor, builds on Pausanias’ speech. He says that Heavenly Love and those who feel it “...must be encouraged and protected” (Sym. 187D). Alcibiades encourages his own Heavenly Love for Socrates by praising Socrates himself. He devotes his entire speech to the philosopher’s image. There is not much else to compare between Eryximachus and Alcibiades because Eryximachus simply adds to what Pausanias has already stated. Aristophanes is a playwright who’s eager to take a different approach to the origins of erōs. He says that humans were once great beings with four arms, four legs, two faces and two sets of sexual organs. There were male, female and androgynous beings, which were both male and female. They became prideful and planned to ascend to the heavens and attack the gods. The gods couldn’t kill the humans because then no one would worship them. Zeus instead opts to cut the human beings in two and asks Apollo to smooth out their edges. This decision created unforeseen consequences. “...Each [human] longed for its own other half, and so they would throw themselves together, wanting to grow together. In that condition they would die from hunger and general idleness, because they
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