How do we know if love is a god or just a little baby we call cupid that flies around during Valentines? Plato?s Symposium is a piece of work that is dedicated to Eros the god of love. I choose to disuse Agathon?s and Socrates?s speeches because they are both similar in subject, but opposite in opinion. Socrates?s ideas on Eros, identify him as a spirit in-between beauty and good. He is also in-between love and knowledge. In Socrates?s form of Eros, Eros is not seen as a god who is contrary to Agathon?s speech. I defend Socrates because his ideas are thought out and argued in Symposium.
Socortes?s speech starts out with a wise women named Diotima. She tells him how Eros came to be, she states that Eros was conceived on Aphdites birthday ?that?s why he is also by nature a lover of beauty, because Aphrodite herself is especially beautiful? (203C). Socrates added to this by saying since knowledge is beautiful and he is a lover of beauty he also is a philospilla. Eros then desire?s and seeks knowledge just as all human beings do. Finally since he seeks similar wants and needs as humans do, he is not a god but in-between the heavens and the earth as Socrates puts it he is a ?great spirit? (202E).
Agathon view of Eros is completely different, he focus on his dominance as a god. He states that Eros is the youngest god, he points this out by saying there was
war with the gods but it ceased when Eros was present. Agathon than says that he has a hold on the gods because they themselves are in love. Since he is so supreme he is the creator of everything fair and good on earth. If Eros is both young and beautiful, he also has a hold on other gods from the effects of love. Agathon concludes Eros is the creator of everything good and fair. Thus Agathon states that Eros is the King of the Gods.
Socrates and Agathon speeches come up with the extreme conclusion that the two give an in-depth look on the intentions and the roles Eros plays in our world. While Agthon says that Eros is beauty, Socrates goes the opposite way stating, Eros is only the lover of beauty, therefore he is not beautiful, because if you have someone who is beautiful he doesn?t seek beauty. Socrates uses knowledge and refers it to humans and gives the statement that Eros requires knowledge as well as beauty just as mortals do. They try to prove that Eros is in-between immortality and moral, though Agothon boasts that Eros in fact is the supreme ruler of the gods, presuming god is in fact immortal.
These two men Agathon and Socrates? in the dialogues of Symposium have strong arguments, yet I find that I agree with Socrates rather than Agathon?s happy go lucky world of bliss. Socrates premises are straightforward. He gives you surrounding information-disproving Agathon as he goes in the dialogue. As Socrates explains one idea as he leads into the other and intertwines them to a
conclusion. Yet, Agathon seems set on a easy explanation of Eros. As he goes along
his speech he gives reasons on why Eros is the god but only to keep referring on the fact that Eros is beautiful and young. I defend Socrates? because he gave a better description as well as step by step of Agathon speech in Symposium.
Agathon?s speech to me seemed he was caught up it enchantism rather than giving an argument and concluding it as Socrates did in his speech. Socrates speech was well spoken because he had all the elements for a good speech. First he gave the impression that another person was responsible for the words that he spoke. Then he told us the origin of Eros, and then proceeded to fill in the rest that Agathon has left out in his speech of the god of love.