Pausanius Noble and Vulgar Love

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Short Assignment: Noble Love, Vulgar Love and a Dark Side

Pausanias presents his account that there are two types of love that exist. He speaks after Phaedrus who briefly describes love as a virtue in of itself and makes love out to be a wonderful and honorable state to be in. This begins to describe one of his theories of love, the noble love. Noble love according to Pausanius is a virtuous state for the lover in which the lover is genuinely in love with the beloved’s soul and being. Moreover, the lover would only care about the well being for the beloved, and this type is the respectable and honorable love. It is to be considered praise worthy if the sentiments it produces in us are noble. He brings Heavenly Aphrodite in as the epitome of noble love. In their custom, a lover’s desire and willingness to satisfy is considered to be the noblest thing, no matter the extent.

Pausanius’s view of vulgar love, being noble loves paradox, isn’t praise worthy love, and is the epitome of Common Aphrodite. A love which strikes wherever it can, and felt by the vulgar toward the body more than the soul and for what the lover loves is actually mutable and unstable. Loving honorably or not is of no concern. As for the beloved, offering yourself to such a vile lover is considered disgraceful behavior.

Noble love however was used to describe love for boys who by nature were stronger and more intellectual. He offers that this noble love was more common for the older male loving a younger male because the lover is willing to share everything and spend the rest of his life with the younger, and not to deceive him. Giving in yourself to your lover for a virtuous sake is honorable (whatever the outcome), and if you have been deceived it is no fault of your own. Virtue is the central concern and all other forms of love belong to the vulgar.

Because love can drive someone’s emotions to the most extreme it can manipulate someone to act in a way that can be quite dangerous to...
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