- All Best Essays, Term Papers and Book Report

Love in Plato's Phaedrus

Essay by   •  October 23, 2011  •  Essay  •  632 Words (3 Pages)  •  2,507 Views

Essay Preview: Love in Plato's Phaedrus

Report this essay
Page 1 of 3

Love is one of the central themes within both Plato's Symposium as well as the Phaedrus. Each description of love is responsible for the introduction of new conceptions of what love really is and how it exists within our world. New ideas of love, such like platonic love, are represented in both the Symposium and the Phaedrus.

The Symposium was written specifically to explore the true nature of love. One of the important themes of this work is based on the thought that love is a person's need to be completed by another. Plato discusses the dialectal notion that love is neither attractive and good, nor repulsive or bad, but rather somewhere in the middle. There is some sort of true belief in the middle ground between knowledge and ignorance in Plato's Symposium. Having experience in both of these aspects in one's life is essential, according to Plato, in order to find one's own harmony. This is where "love is a lover of love." Plato's Symposium suggests a theory that love is aimed by a permanent possession of one's own integrity and goodness.

Plato's Phaedrus focuses mainly on introducing the conception of erotic love, defined by madness, passion, lust, sense, and unreasonable longing for another. Love can be seen as a desire conflicted within this work by the separating off from desire to rationality. Often throughout the history of philosophy itself, we see emotion separated off from reason. This alludes to the theme that desire is therefore irrational to Plato. In his work Phaedrus, it becomes clear that Plato has the idea that Eros, or erotic love, seeks the beautiful. It is compared in an almost "intoxicated vs. sobriety" type of way. Plato is attempting to choose the most rational form of love, or the most "sober" because he feels there is wariness within the irrational or the "intoxicated." This is a parallel to contentment and happiness where Plato sees love and happiness to be dangerous or "intoxicated." This allusion brings forth Plato's belief that Eros is therefore dangerous, however he still remains to love it more than Phila, defined by feelings of fondness, loyalty, and pleasure in company.

Plato's ultimate love or desire is coming to know truth and how important it is to the world that surrounds him. In the Symposium, discussions on love suggest that one can only approach this truth through a slow and careful ascent. With each recurring speech they get closer and closer to finding the real meaning of truth. Plato uses Socrates in the Symposium as a figure to represent someone who, if followed, one may not necessarily attain wisdom but will find a pursuit for it. Plato makes use of rhetoric in the Phaedrus to show to present that as it may be an effectives skill in speech and writing, speech may not be an accurate vehicle for truth. Plato concludes that proficiency in the use of rhetoric must involve knowing



Download as:   txt (3.7 Kb)   pdf (59.5 Kb)   docx (9.9 Kb)  
Continue for 2 more pages »
Only available on
Citation Generator

(2011, 10). Love in Plato's Phaedrus. Retrieved 10, 2011, from's-Phaedrus/12719.html

"Love in Plato's Phaedrus" 10 2011. 2011. 10 2011 <'s-Phaedrus/12719.html>.

"Love in Plato's Phaedrus.", 10 2011. Web. 10 2011. <'s-Phaedrus/12719.html>.

"Love in Plato's Phaedrus." 10, 2011. Accessed 10, 2011.'s-Phaedrus/12719.html.