Plato and "Symposium" Book Review

Plato and "Symposium"
An analysis of the conception of art and beauty in "Symposium" by Plato.
# 147978 | 1,325 words | 3 sources | MLA | 2011 | KE
Published on Aug 18, 2011 in Literature (Greek and Roman) , Philosophy (Ancient Greek)

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This paper discusses how Plato's conception of "beauty" and his "theory of art" in the book "Symposium" not only gives the reader some insights into the theory of art when Diotima discusses forms of beauty, but it also focuses on diverse perspectives of beauty. The paper looks at how the book has both philosophical and literary merit unlike Plato's previous works which examine the theory of forms with a lesser force than the symposium and how in this book, the reader is taken through Plato's rejection of romanticized sexual love because of his value for wisdom and beauty.

From the Paper:

"One of the speakers in this text is called Diotima and she asserts that love is the pursuance of beauty in a gradual incline from specific to general. This gradual exposition helps people to understand all types of beauty. She asserts that even the most ignorant soul is attracted to beauty at a certain level and most people don't realize that what makes a person beautiful is what other people perceive to be an idea of a higher form of beauty. This means that people are usually attracted to the beauty in a person and not the person themselves. However; if our love is focused, we will be satisfied by beautiful people and also seek beauty in more generalized forms like in well ordered political systems, social and economic structures. Higher levels of beauty work in more generalized forms and according to the author of this text, grasping all forms of beauty helps people to grasp the basic reality. This reality concept holds that personal experience is a shadowy world, far removed from the ideal and permanent forms of art found in the world."

Sample of Sources Used:

  • Dolby, Andrew. Rediscovering Homer. London: Norton, 2006.
  • Hunter, Richard. Plato's Symposium. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2004.
  • Strauss, Leo. Plato's Symposium. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2001.

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