Love in Plato’s Symposium
An analysis of the characters’ appreciation and perceptions of love and beauty.
`At the risk or resorting to cliches, it is generally accepted that beauty means different things to different people. How did Socrates know that the attendees of the banquet would judge him based primarily on physical appearance? Perhaps he believed similar people with similar beliefs, such as pederasty, share similar views of beauty and love. Socrates is acknowledging the fact that the pederasts judge and value physical beauty above other forms. Apollodorus is not unprepared to tell us this story, if it is what he must do; but why is he prepared to tell it? What have we to learn from this? Each is free to take from The Symposium what they choose, to filter out the verbose eulogies and determine the true nature of eros for ones self. However, Socrates and Diotima’s fascinating interpretation on the evolution of the perception of beauty is arguably the most compelling and revealing concept that should be extracted from this reading.`