Diotima and Aristophanes

Topics: Plato, Male, Reproduction Pages: 2 (431 words) Published: May 19, 2008
“Love is the desire to have the good forever.” Diotima continues with saying that “every type of desire for good things or happiness is what constitutes ‘powerful and treacherous love’”. Diotima describes love as something that can be obtained through enthusiasm when it is only directed at one thing at a time. However, she also describes love as a longing for immortality, in that the closest mortals can come to being permanently alive and immortal is through reproduction. She believes that everyone goes through this cycle, in which the desire of good things leads us on a journey to discover love and to continue our love by reproducing. Diotima believes that we can only reproduce in what is beautiful and that it is impossible to give birth in what is ugly as ugly is a condition of disharmony. It has to be in what is beautiful because there is something divine about the birthing process and since it occurs in a state of harmony there is no room for ugly, only beauty. So in actuality, “the object of love is not beauty…but reproduction and birth in beauty”. Another thing that reminds us of our mortality is our mind. From character traits to emotions, none of these ever stays the same, we gain some and we lose some. As we age, our knowledge also never staying the same. It is impossible to remember everything, that’s why we study and continue to learn. We never stop learning, we never stop gaining knowledge and replacing the knowledge that has been lost. Aristophanes on the other hand believes differently about the nature of love. He believes that there were three genders: male, female and a combination of the two. When the combined gender tried to attack the gods, Zeus cut them in half in order to weaken them and to make them look like everyone else. After the separation, they longed for their other half and tried to reattach themselves, but when they couldn’t they just stayed near each other all...
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