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Understanding the Text Questions: Plato-The Speech of Aristophanes

1. Knowing that Aristophane's speech was part of a series of other speeches but in a much more friendly competition didn't quite affect my understanding of the words. I knew he was considered evil by Plato because he“...viciously satirized Socrates as manipulative...and an...impractical teacher who taught students to circumvent the law”(Plato 89). Although this occurred, in this passage Aristophane came off as a smart man to me. He somehow helped me feel what the creatures felt in the days when they were separated from their partner. I believe that if Aristophane wrote this passage as a philosophical essay, he would have explained it in a much more detailed manner and less friendly.

2. I think that Plato chose to depict Aristophane as the one who told this speech because he felt that his cruel intentions played a close role to that of the time the beings were split. Humans were split in half and they felt lost and sad, which in Plato's eyes Aristophane played the perfect role. The passage states that, “...since their natural form had been cut in two, each one longed for its own other half..”(Plato 91). These humans suffered when they were split, it was an upsetting time for them and Aristophane spoke of it as a punishment that was well deserved.

3. Aristophane chose to make his point through a fictional story, I believe, to come off as humerous to himself. He obviously doesn't mind seeing others suffer, so he didn't quite mind getting his point through in this manner. In the introduction of the passage, it says that Aristophane wrote a play called The Clouds that “...viciously satirized Socrates as manipulative...and an...impractical teacher who taught students to circumvent the law”(Plato 89). Aristophane didn't mind hurting Socrates just like he found the story and crisis of the beings humorous.

4. Aristophane understands the term “androgynous” because he came up...
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