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Platos "The Symposium" Essay

2055 words - 8 pages

     In Greek culture around the time of Plato, the perfect ideal person was considered.
Plato’s idea that there was a perfect world of ideas affected this pieces subject and the
subject’s action. Many works of his time period were sculptures that were meant to be
viewed from all angles, attempting to be a closer match to that of the ideal. This idea that the
ideal world was real and what matter not the physical also effect the actions depicted in
many works of this time period. Most of the works are depicting an ideal Greek person
performing a noble act not just a common act. Many of the works are also just a still image
of a figure from a single moment in time. All of the male sculptures appear in the nude
because they represent a perfect man with nothing to hide. These are some of the artistic
conventions that were influenced by Plato’s ideas. There are many different aspects of
Greek art that can be accredited to Plato for creating. Among them was the "Perfect" figure
that resented the ideal person that existed in the world of ideas. The definition of what a
perfect person was developed by Plato.
     Plato believed that the physical world did not matter. It was the form in the ideal
world and this value of form and thought can be seen throughout many of the works of art.
Plato said that in the physical world we did not see the real object we only saw a shadow of
it. The art of this time period showed form and subject that were far more perfect than one
could actually exist in the real would in an attempt to represent the world of ideas. All of
these aspects together confirm that Plato has a major influence on Greek art of the time.
     Throughout human existence, the subject of love has also been of great fascination to
many. Questions such as : "What is love?" and "What is the work of love?" are some of
great questions of the universe that has transcended time; yet with no absolute answers.
There is perhaps no correct answers to the phenomena of love. It exists in many strata. It is
perpetually subject to debate, for we all are experts of love in our own rights. In The
Symposium, Plato gave accounts of speeches from different speakers. Yet the focus of this
essay is on Aristophanes and Socrates. Their explanations of love and critical comments to
will be answered to these questions: What is love? How do lovers select their
beloved’s? and What is the work of love?
     What is love? In his speech, Aristophanes engages in the discussion of love,
encompassing human nature as whole rather than individualistic aspects. According to a
myth, we were originally created as a single being, united with our beloved. As pairs, we
were quite powerful and chaotic, such that the god had to split us into two. Thereafter, life
became pursuit, a pursuit for the other half, a "pursuit for wholeness, to be complete."...

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