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Plato’s SymposiumStudy Questions1. Phaedrus 178a – 180b 2. Pausanias 180c – 185c 3. Eryximachus 185d – 188e 4. Aristophanes 189a – 193e 5. Agathon 194a – 197e 6. Socrates 198a – 201c 7. Diotima Part I 201d – 206b8. Diotima Part 2 206c – 209e9. Diotima Part 3 210a – 212b (SGR) 10. Alcibiades Part 1 212c – 217a11. Alcibiades Part 2 217b-223a PHAEDRUS: 1. Who (or what) is love, according to Phaedrus? Love is among the oldest of the gods.2. According to Phaedrus why is love so beneficial? Love shows men how to lead good lives more than anything else. Love teaches shame in acting disgracefully and pridefully.3. Why is an army of lovers such a good idea? They would rather die than be cowardly in front of their partners and they would always strive to be courageous.4. Why does Phaedrus use Alcestis as an example of a lover? Alcestis died for her husband, Admetis, and the gods were so impressed that they brought her back from the underworld. 5. Why is Orpheus considered a bad example of a lover? He went to seek his wife, Eurydice, in Hades and came back empty handed and was later murdered by the Maenads.6. What criticism of Aeschylus does Phaedrus make?7. According to Phaedrus, why did the gods honor Achilles more highly than Alcestis? Because he was so courageous to kill the one whom killed his wife. The gods honored him by sending him to the blessed island to die. 8. What can we learn from this speech? Is any of this relevant to us? Love is a strong force to the gods and is the most ancient and honored of the gods- ensures courage and happiness. PAUSANIAS: 1. According to Pausanias, what are the two Aphrodites? How would you describe the sort of love that each inspires? Heavenly Love and Common Love: Commonlove is when a man loves dumber women and young boys. Heavenly love is between two males.2. What is the situation, according to Pausanias, with homosexual relationships in parts of Greece other than Athens? Why is this the case? Pausanias says that ‘rape’ should be outlawed and is a wrong deed.3. According to Pausanias, how does a lover (erastes) act? Why is this not reprehensible?4. What is the response of the beloved (eromenos)? Why?5. How does Pausanias distinguish between good and bad love? Good love is when two love each other and seek acceptance from the other. Bad love is when one seeks political uplifting from the other. True love seeks wisdom. 6. When is it honorable for the beloved to gratify the lover? What does he mean by “to gratify”? Gratified means sharing knowledge. ERYXIMACHUS: 1. What is Eryximachus’ profession? Doctor. How does this make him an expert on love? Love is a bodily function.2. What do love and medicine have in common? Love is expressed in the bodily responses of plants and animals3. How does he explain love in musical terms? both harmony and rhythm in music consist in creating agreement between divergent notes, or divergent tempos.4. According to Eryximachus, what is the purpose of love?5. How do the seasons and cooking relate to love? good cooking must taste good, but it cannot make diners ill. Good seasons = good harvest = good health6. Is this a good speech?7. In the overall structure of the work, what are the purposes of Eryximachus’s speech? Love dictates your life. 8. How does this relate to Platonic philosophy of the soul?ARISTOPHANES: 1. According to Aristophanes, how many sexes were there originally? Explain. male, female, and androgynous. People had double everything. 2. What was the source of these sexes? Males-Sun, Females- Earth, Other-Moon3. Why was Zeus distressed and what did he do? These creatures were threateningthe gods so zeus and Apollo split everyone into two (what we are now). 4. What, according to Aristophanes, is the source of the belly-button? This is where Apollo tied us up from the dissection. Reminds us humans of our defiance.5. How did Zeus revise his plan? Zeus moved their sex parts to the front so they could have sex.6. How, then, does Aristophanes explain the existence of love? "Love" is the name that we give to our desire for wholeness, to be restored to our original nature. 7. How does this theory explain the existence of male homosexuals, lesbians, and heterosexuals? At one time us humans had two of one sexual system and therefore we want to unite these.8. Which of these three categories does Aristophanes admire most and why? Love between a man and a boy. (Homosexual) 9. What is peculiarly ‘modern’ about Aristophanes’ theory?AGATHON: 1. Why does Socrates think that Agathon will give such a great speech? (NB: there is additional insight to this question in the speech of Alcibiades)2. According to Agathon, what are the characteristics about love? Love is a good god and not only a sentiment with good reapings. – beautiful young and peaceful,sensitive, not forceful, justice, moderation, courage, and wisdom3. Who (or what) is Agathon really describing? HIMSELF4. What is Love’s relationship with ugliness?5. What is the tone of Agathon’s speech? Softness 6. What is this speech’s intended purpose?SOCRATES:1. Who was Socrates? Plato’s mentor.2. What is Socrates’ complaint about Agathon’s eulogy? debt of influence to the great orator, Socrates has Agathon agree that Love must be love of beauty, which in turn implies that Love itself must be wholly without beauty.3. What points does Socrates make about the nature of love in his conversation with Agathon? Socrates has Agathon agree that Love must be love of beauty, which in turn implies that Love itself must be wholly without beauty.4. According to Socrates, what is the relationship between Love and beauty? Love is beauty-less because it wants beauty. 5. Why does Agathon take back everything he just said? Socrates is the mentor.6. What do we call the approach that Socrates uses in pursuing the right answer with Agathon? Disproving?DIOTIMA Part I:1. Who is Diotima? Is she real? 2. Why would Socrates make up the character of Diotima?3. According to Diotima, why is love not a god? What then is love? What is his function? How does this pick up on ideas developed by Eryximachus?4. Who were the parents of Love, according to Diotima? How did they produce a child?5. How does the parentage of Love affect its characteristics?6. According to Diotima, what is the goal of the lover of the beautiful? Why?7. How does Diotima define love?DIOTIMA Part 2:1. Why is procreation an important part of love?2. What do immortality and

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UTSA CLA 2023 - Plato’s Symposium

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