Up@dawn 2.0

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Hailey Hall: Section 8/2 The Symposium: Aristophanes

The Symposium: Aristophanes and the idea of Soul Mates (aka a four-legged creature that is split in two and spend it's life searching for it's other half) 

During 385-370 B.C. Plato wrote a philosophical text entitled the Symposium. In this a group of men are to present a speech, or an encomium, on their personal definition of love. In the second of my three blog posts I will discuss  Aristophanes and his view on what love is. 

In his speech, Aristophanes, explains why people describe love as "feeling whole". The way Aristophanes describes it, in primal times people had double bodies that had legs, arms, and faces that faced away from each other. These original people were considered to be very powerful because they were able to act as one being. Aristophanes explains that there are three different sexes: male (from the sun), female (from the earth), and adrogynous who were male and female (from the moon). These people tried to scale up to the Gods so that they could live with them. However, Zeus did not want this so he blasted them with thunderbolts and crippled them by seperating the two beings.

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Since this, people were said to be scouring the earth in search of their other half. The women, descended from the earth, searched after other women, creating lesbians. The men, who descended from the sun, searched for other men, creating homosexuals. Lastly, the adrogynous beings searched for their other half whether it be male searching for a female or vice versa, creating heterosexual couples. 

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He then goes to say that find your other half and feeling whole is the reason why couples never want to be split apart. Aristophanes also warns that, "If we are not obedient to the gods, there is a danger that we shall be split up again and go about in basso-relievo, like the profile figures showing only one half the nose which are sculptured on monuments, and that we shall be like tallies," which is his fear that people will be split in half again (perhaps hopping around on one leg?).

(Definitely not the fastest mode of transportation when searching for "true love")

1 comment:

  1. It's such a sweet idea, that we each possess a unique soul-mate... but also statistically daunting. I'd prefer to believe that we all possess a capacity to be improved by many relationships over the course of a lifetime (though I also prefer the romantic ones to be monogamous).