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Explain the Greek concept of eros and the variations on the concept as introduced by the various speakers in Plato’s Symposiu

He believed that Eros comprise of varying shades and occurs in numerous forms. In Symposium, an institutional dialogue, Plato described the numerous perceptions he held about Love. In this paper Plato’s presentation of varying facets of Love is analyzed and explained with textual evidence from Symposium. The Link between Eros and Symposium: Eros is a Greek term and can be regarded as the primary theme in Plato’s Symposium. In English language it means Love. This Greek word is the inspirational factor behind the popular term Eroticor Erotica that is usually associated with sex or sexual desire, an association that eventually linked desire as the sole developer of Love. Plato’s Symposium, which unarguably is the Greek philosopher’s best-loved works, actually means drinking party and is written in the form of a dialogue that clarifies various misconceptions about love (Lawall and Mack864). The subject matter of Symposium was, as described by Pausanias, to speak in praise of love and according to Socrates to find out who Love is and what he is like (Lawall and Mack874-890). In this dialogue there are seven main characters presented as speakers uttering their views about Love. In reality the speakers were important philosophers from Plato’s era and he presented their theoretical understanding of Eros/Love. These included Phaedrus, Pausanias, Eryximachus, Aristophanes, Agathon, Socrates, and Alcibiades. Symposium was written by Plato between 384 and 370 B.C.E. (Lawall and Mack875) Phaedrus’s view of Eros/Love: Phaedrus believes Eros is a strong emotion that uphold honor. it can compel a person to die for the beloved and can bring forth such nobility and piousness that easily garnershim the love of the one he desires. Phaedrus says Love is the most ancient of the gods, the most honored, and the most powerful in helping men gain virtue and blessedness (Lawall and Mack874). Here, the emphasis is on presenting Love as the oldest of gods and therefore, it should be honored like gods. For him, Love is very powerful and can benefit men by helping them gain respect. Alan Soble writes that Phaedrus’s Eros makes one abnegate the self (807). That is, Phaedrus’s approach is highly respectable towards Love and he believed that love is the producer of good virtues in men. He wanted love to be accepted in this way and that is why he uses the example of Alcestis and Achilles to denote the honorary nature of love that compelled a person to commit highly supreme deeds for the sake of love. He chose to die for his lover Patroclus…the gods were highly delighted…and gave him special honor (Lawall and Mack874). Thus, it can be stated that for Phaedrus love and honor were intertwined. Pausanias’s View of Eros/Love: Pausanias reinforces the stereotypical image of Eros in his speech by bringing the focus on Aphrodite, the love goddess, and explaining that sexual dimension is the main feature of erotic love. He believes that Eros is complex andhas two categories since there are actually two goddesses of that name, there must also be two kinds of Love (Lawall and Mack874) The Heavenly Aphrodite or Urania guides people in the right direction in sexual matters whereas the vulgar goddess named Pandemosor the Common Aphrodite provokes people to put sexual desires above all other good things. Pausanias believes that it is

Explain the Greek concept of eros and the variations on the concept as introduced by the various speakers in Plato’s Symposiu