Plato’s Symposium

MLA style -pages numbered – a minimum of 1600-1800 words -each answer 3.4-4 pages -7-8 pages in total -title page included please -very specific thesis statements (then persuade) -some short quotations in support are needed -essay type questions, will need to be clear and organized -for every first order sentence/claim (“Socrates claims that…”) there must be two second order sentences/reasons in support/clarification of meaning (“what Socrates meant here is that…”) -answers aim to analyze text by explaining argument -show understanding of Plato’s reasoning Questions: 1) Diatoma’s discussion about desire, immortality, and the souls creativity: Critically analyze Diatoma’s arguments concerning the nature of desire and the objects of desire, explaining the difference between desire (eros, love) and wanting to possess the good forever. Why is the purpose of desire (love) giving birth towards beauty? What does she mean by the “whole of love”? (Plato, 51) Why is love the desire for immortality? Why do those with pregnant souls seek out individuals who are beautiful? What does the soul create? How is love related to education? 2) Aristophanes and Plato: Aristophane’s position on love is relatively straightforward. He argues that love is the desire for the perfect union and wholeness that we, as mortals, lack. Critically analyze Aristophane’s conception of the nature of love, then compare and contrast his view with the position on love that Plato defends through the persona of Diatoma. According to Aristophanes, what is the human situation, and what can love attain? How does Plato (Diatoma) answer these questions? Note: All the specific questions do not have to be answered, they are just there to provide possible approaches to the topic. (Prof. also said that a topic is not a thesis).

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