Agathon's Symposium Speech Analysis

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The various ideologies of love mentioned by speakers in Plato’s Symposium portrayed the social and cultural aspect of ancient Greece. In the text, there were series of speeches given by Phaedrus, Pausanias, Eryximachus, Aristophanes, Socrates, and Agathon about the idea of love, specifically the effect and nature of Eros. Within the speakers, Agathon’s speech was exceptional in that his speech shifted the focus of the audience from effect of Eros on people, to the nature and gifts from the Eros. Despite Agathon’s exceptional remarks about Eros, Socrates challenged Agathon’s characterization of Eros through utilization of Socratic Method. Agathon describes Eros as young, delicate, beautiful, courageous (brave), and most skillful of all the activities known to mankind. Before giving a speech, Agathon first criticized other speakers, as he claimed that other speakers prior to him does not know how to properly praise the “god,” Eros. (195, a) Agathon states that Eros prevented violence, and instead brought peace among the gods, due to “love of beauty”. (197, b) In addition, Eros is a freely-moving spirit that cannot force anyone or be forced into doing anything by anyone and instead only acts upon ‘mutual concent and agreement,” hence Agathon infers that whatever …show more content…

(199, a~b) The major difference between Socrates’ and Agathon’s concept of Eros was that Agathon claimed Eros to be the god, while Socrates said Eros was a child between god of Resource and god of Poverty, and that Eros serves as an intermediary spirit between gods and mortals. Socrates gets his point across by utilizing the “Socratic Method,” which is done by asking Agathon sequence of questions, so that Agathon feels less certain about his knowledge on

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