Plato Symposium

The concept of love is one that has been hotly debated for ages, and who better to debate the issue than a group of drunken men. In Plato’s “Symposium,” which is defined as an event of drinking and intellectual conversation, Socrates and six other men each come to the party with a prepared encomium on love. By the end of the symposium, a general conclusion is met: that there are two types of love and the most virtuous love is the love of wisdom. Each of the men present their speeches on love, which may seem different, but essentially they parallel what Diotima’s opinion of love is, a unhurried and careful ascent to truth. So, each speaker’s encomium gets the audience closer and closer to the truth.  
After,Phaedrus’ speech on love, the legal expert, Pausanias, begins by developing the idea of the duality of love; though it is primarily under the umbrella of homosexuality, only touching briefly on heterosexual love. It is his claim that love exists in the form of Aphrodite Pandemos (common love,) and Aphrodite Uranis (heavenly love.) Common love being based on sensuality and producing children; while heavenly love being based on companionship, involving mental and soul-oriented pursuits. Virtue is of high importance to him, and says that heavenly love only goes bad if one lover’s intention is exploitation.
Ultimately, Plato rejects the glorification of sexual love, or common love, and puts the asexual love and pursuit of wisdom and beauty on a pedestal. Socrates, Plato’s mouthpiece, places philosophy above the arts which the other men use for comparisons, including medicine (Eryximachus,) comedy (Aristophanes,) and tragedy (Agathon.) Socrates also references every speaker, as if to say his encomium possessed the ultimate truth that only could have been reached by the process of having the other men build up to it; this is another suggestion of Diotima’s notion of love being a dutiful ascent, or journey, to truth.
“Symposium” also contains...