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September 30, 2014

The Second Agon of Plato's _Symposium_: Eryximachus and Aristophanes

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Plato (c. 348–47 B.C.E.) Symposium. 360 B.C.E. Greek. Philosophic text.


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Posted by lhobbs at September 30, 2014 01:15 PM

Readers' Comments:

Shelby Rexroth
October 9th, 2014
ENG210 CA02

“We know that no one who heard this offer would turn it down and it would become apparent that no one wanted anything else.”

Question: What is this offer? And who is offering it?

Answer: The offer that is being discussed is made by Hephaetus. “Imagine that Hephaetus with his tools stood over them while they were lying together and asked: “What is it, humans, that you want from each other?”(26) The offer is that Hepthateus would fuse and weld them together so they could become one and would then lived a shared life and would die together.

Posted by: Shelby Rexroth at October 9, 2014 10:13 PM

Emily Finck
Dr. B. Lee Hobbs
ENG 210CL Love and Desire in Literature CA02
10 October 2014


“The good practitioner can bring about changes, so that the body acquires one type of love instead of the other; he knows how to implant one type of love, when it isn’t there but should be, and remove the other type of love that is there” (Speech of Eryximachus, Plato’s Symposium, page 19, par. 1, Christopher Gill translation).


Question:
In the following passage from Plato’s Symposium, are the two types of love Eryximachus refers to similar to Pausanias’s idea of Heavenly and Commonly Love? Why, or why not? Or, has he defined two new types of love?


Answer:
Though Eryximachus introduction to two types of love resembles that of Pausanias’s, the two types of love being defined are not similar to Heavenly or Commonly Love. Eryismachus recognizes that there are indeed two types of love, but love is not limited to only human beings. Animals and plants can give and receive love. Pausanias was only defining love at the level of human beings, not considering that the world can elicit love as well.


Eryximachus, then, is saying that love encompasses everything and works from the push and pull of those around it. Love is about finding a balance between two objects of affection, not division. Eryixmachus proposes the idea of one love being balanced between two essences, not a separation of love itself. “He should be able to take the most antagonistic elements in the body and create friendship and love between them” (Symposium 19).

Posted by: Emily Finck at October 9, 2014 10:46 PM

Matt Weller
Dr. B. Lee Hobbs
ENG 201CL Love and Desire in Literature CA02
10 October 2014

“This then, is the source of our desire to love each other. Love is born into every human being; it calls back the halves of our original nature together; it tries to make one out of two and heal the wound of human nature.” (Second Agon, The Speech of Aristophanes, page 27, par. 2)

Question:
In Aristophanes speech, he explains how the genders came about and why we search for the opposite gender. What was it that Zeus did in order to make the genders? When the genders were split into two, and then into two again, what gender was more preferred once it had been split for a second time?

Answer:
In Aristophanes speech, he explains how there were three different kinds of genders at the beginning of time. There was male, female, and a combination of the two. This gender was called androgynous. The gender that was combined of both male and female was powerful and ambitious because it was comprised of both genders. Zeus did not like this, so he decided to split the gender into two. “So I shall now cut each of them in two. At one stroke they will lose their strength and also become more profitable to us, owing to the increase in their number” (Plato 26). Not only has Zeus made this gender less powerful, but he has also increased the population of the human race. Once the gender was split in two, it was said that they could also be split in two again. If a woman were split into two, the result would be that the women would be a lesbian and only be interested in her gender. When a male was split in two, he too would only be interested and sleep with his gender. However, when a male would be split in two, it was more acceptable. “Those are the best of boys and lads, because they are the most manly in their nature” (Plato 27). It was more preferred for men to be interested in their gender and was considered manly, brave, and masculine.

Posted by: Matthew Weller at October 10, 2014 01:27 PM

Gabriela Navarro
Dr. B. Lee Hobbs
ENG 210CL Love and Desire in Literature
10 Oct 2014

QUESTION:
How does Eryxmachus speech compare and contrast to Pausanias speech?


ANSWER:
Erysmachus compares love to his personal area of expertise, medicine. He speaks upon his thoughts that a medicine can bring the double nature of love together into harmony. He explains how health and diseases are different, and "when things are dissimilar, the object of their desire and love are dissimilar" (Plato, 18c). Resulting that love is different from a healthier and a diseased body. Medication is used to help the good parts in the body while at the same time depriving the bad parts. Which I believe to be great metaphors that reflect on Pausanias explanation, that it is right to please good people and wrong to gratify bad people.

Posted by: Gabriela Navarro at October 10, 2014 01:51 PM

Zailet Martinez
Dr. B. Lee Hobbs
ENG 210CL- Love and Desire in Literature
10 October 2014

Pausania had said that it was right for the boyfriend to gratify moderate but not self-indulgent lovers. Eryximachus reuses this distinction from a quite different standpoint, saying that it is right for the expert to gratify moderate desires but not self-indulgent ones, a point made in connection with medicine, music and religious ritual.
(Introduction: Plato, page xxii, par. 2, Christopher Gill translation)

Question:
Eryximachus reuses Pausania’s distinction from a different standpoint. Choose either Eryximachus’s or Pausania’s standpoint and give an example as to why you think that standpoint explains the idea better.

Posted by: Zailet Martinez at October 10, 2014 02:15 PM

Brianna Broughton
Dr. Lee Hobbs
ENG 210CL Love &Desire in Literature
11 October 2014

Second Agon- Plato’s Symposium

“So Love as a whole has great and mighty – or rather total – power, when you put all this together. But it is the Love whose nature is expressed in good actions, marked by self-control and justice, at the human and divine level that has the greatest power and is the source of all our happiness. It enables us to associate, and be friends, with each other and with the gods, our superiors.”

Based on page 21: How does Eryximachus incorporate the elements of medicine and music into his understanding of the different types of love?

Answer: Eryximachus is a doctor, so it is easy for him to tie his profession into topics to help him better understand, and that is what he has done with love. “Medicine, in essence, is knowledge of the forms of bodily love as regards filling and emptying.” (Page 19). He explains that any good doctor should be able to give the body the love it needs, whether that be replacing, adding, or taking away. When Eryximachus began to speak on the comparison of music to love, he was adding on the argument that was made by Heraclitus. He elaborates on how unity and harmony are linked. “Just as medicine creates agreement in one area, music creates it in another, by implanting love and concord between the elements involved;” (Page 20).

Posted by: Brianna Broughton at October 11, 2014 03:11 PM

Brianna Broughton
Dr. Lee Hobbs
ENG 210 CL Love & Desire in Literature
11 October 2014

Eryximachus Speech

Question 4: The four “elements” were thought by the Greeks to be (i.) the hot, (ii.) the cold, (iii.) the
moist, and (iv.) the dry. All things were a combination of these (e.g., fish are cold and moist,
the sun is hot and dry, earth is cold and dry, etc.), and the proper balance of them in any
living thing was thought to be necessary for good health (not a very strange idea). Define
“temperance” and how this Greek medical idea influenced the position of Eryximachus.

Answer: Temperance is a popular Greek word for self-control. This word can be synonymous with self-mastery or power over one’s self. Eryximachus’ makes a point that “Medicine, in essence, is knowledge of the forms of bodily love as regards filling and emptying.” (Page 19). A good doctor should be able to implant one type of love, or remove one type of love. Eryximachus’ theory is that the doctor can help the person have all the love their body should have. Although if a doctor helps someone achieve all the love their body should have that would not be self-mastery, it is a doctor’s job to help his patients.

Posted by: Brianna Broughton at October 11, 2014 04:51 PM

DO OVER
Gabriela Navarro
Dr. B. Lee Hobbs
ENG 210CL Love and Desire in Literature CA02
10 October 2014

"…Love is not only expressed in the emotional responses of human beings to beautiful people, but in many other types of response as well…" (Second Agon, The Speech of Eryxmachus and Aristophanes, page 18, par. 3).

QUESTION:
What example did Eryxmachus use to express his opinion on love? Explain how.

ANSWER:
Erysmachus compares love to his personal area of expertise, medicine. He speaks upon his thoughts that a medicine can bring the double nature of love together into harmony. He explains how health and diseases are different, and "when things are dissimilar, the object of their desire and love are dissimilar" (Plato, 18c). Resulting that love is different from a healthier and a diseased body. Medication is used to help the good parts in the body while at the same time depriving the bad parts. Which I believe to be great metaphors that reflect on Pausanias explanation, that it is right to please good people and wrong to gratify bad people.

Posted by: Gabriela Navarro at October 11, 2014 05:52 PM

Emily Finck
Dr. B. Lee Hobbs
ENG 210CL Love and Desire in Literature CA02
13 October 2014


Question #11:
Which, according to Aristophanes, are persons more attracted to in potential lovers: (a.) certain qualities in that person, or, (b) the person himself/herself? Why, and how can we tell the difference between these two things? Explain. You must use quoted passages from the actual text to support your part of the answer that appears in your own words.


Answer:
According to Aristophanes, from Plato’s Symposium, potential lovers are more attracted to the person rather than the qualities in that person. His entire, basis of this argument, stems from the Greek creation myth where all humans started out as one that held both genders “androgynous” (Symposium 22). As one, humans began to wreak havoc on the land and in turn upset the gods. The gods then decided to split each being into two creating “male” and “female” (22). What Aristophanes then argues is, that, in order to be “whole” each human finds “love” in his or her other half (24). Each human was cut from another human and based off who they were attached to decides which gender they love. Males can then fall in love in other males or females and vice versa for females.

Posted by: Emily Finck at October 12, 2014 09:08 AM

Allison Ward
Dr. B Lee Hobbs
ENG 210CL Love and Desire in Literature
12 October 12, 2014

“Just as medicine creates agreement in one area, music creates it in another, by implanting love and concord between the elements involved; music, in its turn, is a knowledge of the form of love in connection with harmony and rhythm.”(Plato pg. 20 par. 1 Greek Translation)

Question
This passage discusses the two types of love while putting music into the mix. Explain how music fits this discussion.

Answer
Music fits this discussion by stating, “so in music…we must pay careful attention to these two kinds of love because both kinds are there.”(Plato 20). This means that within heavenly and the common love, we can find some form of music within it. With music comes harmony and rhythm, and they come into play when deciding what type of music falls into each category of love.

Posted by: Allison Ward at October 12, 2014 01:20 PM

Do Over- Zailet Martinez
Dr. B. Lee Hobbs
ENG 210CL Love and Desire in Literature CA02
10 October 2014

Pausanias had said that it was right for the boyfriend to gratify moderate but not self-indulgent lovers. Eryximachus reuses this distinction from a quite different standpoint, saying that it is right for the expert to gratify moderate desires but not self-indulgent ones, a point made in connection with medicine, music and religious ritual.
(Introduction: Plato, page xxii, par. 2, Christopher Gill translation)

Question:

This passage refers to a distinction between who Pausanias and Eryximachus believe is the person that should gratify moderate but not self-indulgent desires in love. What is the basis of Eryximachus opposition to Pausanias standpoint? Do the other thinkers believe that his viewpoint is justify?

Answer:

Eryximachus given that he is a doctor bases his viewpoint on expertise. He believes that only those who have knowledge should be allowed enjoy moderate desires but should not self-indulge in those desires. Other thinkers believe Eryximachus ignores the cosmic view on love. He only thinks that those who know the most, the experts, can enjoy love. Eryximachus seems to be preoccupied with what he knows and believes is right to what it is right. For example, Aristophanes’ comments “'the success of Eryximachus’ sneeze treatment for curing hiccups hardly matches his claim about the ‘well-ordered’ character of the body'" (Plato, xxii). Even though, Eryximachus has a lot of knowledge he fails to show that in his speech, often leaving ideas scrambled and not well ordered.

Posted by: Zailet Martinez at October 12, 2014 08:41 PM

Zailet Martinez
Dr. B. Lee Hobbs
ENG 210CL Love and Desire in Literature CA02
12 October 2014

Question 15:
What does Aristophanes say he had to do to cure his hiccups? What joke does he make about this? Explain. You must use quoted passages from the actual text to support the part of your answer that appears in your own words.

Answer:
Aristophanes asks Eryximachus to stop his hiccups or to do his speech for him as it was his turn after Pausanias. Eryximachus decides to do both, cure Aristophanes hiccups and take his turn to speak. Eryximachus suggestions to stop the hiccups were that Aristophanes should hold his breath for a long time, and if that didn’t work, he should gargle water. THe third suggestion was to get something to tickle his nose with to make him sneeze once or twice. Aristophanes jokes about Eryximachus ideas of the expert being well-ordered on love to gratify moderate desires but not self-indulge in them. Aristophanes says the joke in this manner, “‘Yes they’ve stopped all right, but not until I applied the sneeze-treatment to them. It makes me wonder whether it is the “well-ordered” part of my body that wants that kind of noises and tickles that make up a sneeze. At any rate, the tickles stopped right away when I applied the sneeze.’” (Plato, 21). His joke makes fun that Eryximachus expertise ideals are not what they expect to hear as explanation for Eros.

Posted by: Zailet Martinez at October 12, 2014 09:23 PM

Thomas Watson
Dr. B. Lee Hobbs
ENG 210CL Love and Desire in Literature CA02
13 October 2014

QUESTION #22:
“Then “androgynous” was a distinct gender as well as a name, combining male and female; now nothing is left but the name, which is used as an insult” (Plato, 22).

What is the point that Aristophanes is trying to make when he mentions the “androgynous”? What does it have to do with Love?

ANSWER:
The first point that Aristophanes is attempting to make is that being androgynous was looked down upon amongst the Gods. They were savage like in a way, however the Gods wouldn’t get any of the Love they needed. As Plato states in the passage, “ The Gods didn’t want to kill them, wiping out the human race with thunderbolts as they’d done with the giants; if they did that, the honours and sacrifices the Gods received from them would disappear” (Plato 23). So Zeus decided to sever the androgynous into two, making both man and woman, to gain more servants as well as making them weaker.

The second point is to show the bond that a man and woman have. Seperating the two creating a longing within both sexes as quoted, “ ‘Since their original nature had been cut in two, each one longed for its own other half and stayed with it” (Plato 24). Also that the power of the two is greater when both are together, dating back to the “androgynous” when man and woman were one.

Posted by: Thomas Watson at October 13, 2014 01:43 PM

Gabriela Navarro
Dr. B. Lee Hobbs
ENG 210CL Love and Desire in Literature CA02
13 October 2014

QUESTION:
Both Eryximachus and Arisophanes continue to explore how love is connected to the relationship between the body and soul. how do each of there accounts differ, with respect of the issue?

ANSWER:
Aristophanes' speech comes in the form of a myth. Aristophanes' myth suggests that we are attracted not to certain qualities in a person so much as we are attracted to the person him or herself. He also example how we "reconstruct our original human compounds by finding our own 'other half' and by rebuilding that compound, as far as possible through physical love" (Plato xxiv). In contrast, Eryximachus claims that two forms of love occur in the human body, one is healthy, the other is unhealthy. However, he is concern to impose 'order' on his topic, he fails to notice that different themes and standpoints are awkwardly combined" (plato, xxiiii).

Posted by: Gabriela Navarro at October 13, 2014 02:09 PM

Sharonda S Byrd
B. LEE HOBBS
ENG 210CL
13 October 2014
Symposium
After the division the two parts of man, each desiring his other half, came together, and throwing their arms about one another, entwined in mutual embraces, longing to grow into one, they began to die from hunger and self-neglect, because they did not like to do anything apart; and when one of the halves died and the other survived, the survivor sought another mate, man or woman as we call them,--being the sections of entire men or women,--and clung to that. P. 24 Aristophanes's Speech from Plato's Symposium

Question: What is the purpose of Aristophanes’ story?
Answer: The purpose of Aristophanes’ story is to show that humans need to always have someone in their life. This myth that he talks about is the reason behind the desire humans have for each other. In symposium it talks about how when a person lost their other half they would search for them no matter what and reunite, “After the division the two parts of man, each desiring his other half, came together, and throwing their arms about one another, entwined in mutual embraces, longing to grow into one, they began to die from hunger and self-neglect, because they did not like to do anything apart”. In the story it said that even when one half died and the other survived, they would find another mate and cling to it.

Posted by: sharonda byrd at October 13, 2014 02:14 PM

Thomas Watson
Dr. B. Lee Hobbs
ENG 210CL Love and Desire in Literature CA02
15 October 2014

QUESTION #13: Both Eryximachus and Aristophanes connect the obligations of love with our allegiance to the Gods. Why?


ANSWER:
It seems that back then the Gods were the reasons as to why phenomena occurred. So it’s easy to say that the obligations of love are tied to our allegiance to the Gods. With Eryximachus he expresses love through nature, in which Gods have domain. Through love, it stems into two different types of love within nature’s health. The God of Love is more powerful than people give credit. For example, “I’ve realized how great and wonderful a god Love is, and how his power extends to all aspects of human and divine life”(Plato 18). Pretty much implying that with aligning yourself with the God of Love, you’ll see the extent of that power. “It enables us to associate, and be friends, with each other and with the gods, our superiors”(Plato 21).



Aristophanes made it apparent that people don’t see the true meaning love. From the text, “if they’d grasped this, they’d have built the greatest temples and altars for him, and made the greatest sacrifices”(Plato 22). Also, mankind was quite different in the beginning. We were all one together, two males in one body with eight extremities and vice versa for women, as well as the androgynous. Humans got cocky and decided to challenge the Gods, which in turn forced Zeus to make them weaker. He split them in two and made Apollo shape them. The Gods knew that without the love of the humans, “if they did that, the honours and sacrifices the gods received from would disappear”(Plato 23). Making the humans obligated to love the Gods in order for them to stay as they are.

Posted by: Thomas Watson at October 15, 2014 11:18 AM

Matt Weller
Martin Terassi
Dr. B. Lee Hobbs
ENG 201CL Love and Desire in Literature CA02
15 October 2014

Question #6:
So far, in Agons 1 and 2 of Plato’s Symposium, we have explored the concepts of Pederasty, the Lover/Beloved dichotomy, the Heavenly Love/Common Love dichotomy, the Balance/Imbalance dichotomy, and the Complete/Incomplete (or, Uninjured/Injured) dichotomy. . In Agon 2, the definition of love seems to be approaching something recognizable, but not quite. For now, the speakers seem to be allowing for bodily sensualities that might be labeled as either infatuation, desire, and/or abnormal loves. In your group, discuss how ONE or more of these concepts is present/absent in either a positive or negative way in Brian Aldiss’s “Super Toys Last All Summer Long.”

Answer:
In the short story, “Super Toys Last All Summer Long,” there is a sense of abnormal love. The boy in the story, David, is a little toy-robot boy that is questioning if he is a real boy or if he is not. He also questions the love from his mom. Since he is not a real boy, he does not think his mom truly loves him. The mom goes looking for David after a while to go play with him. David hides from her because he does not want to confront her with the question of if she loves him or not. The mom ponders the thought of thinking about loving her “son.” “Why waste time talking to this machine? Why not simply go upstairs and scoop David into her arms and talk to him, as a loving mother should to a loving son?” (Aldiss 4). She believes she is wasting her time loving this boy that is only a robot toy. David truly loves his mom and wants her to love him back. However, the mom does not want to waste her time trying to love this “boy” when he is not real. From this, it shows that there is a sense of abnormal love between David and his mom.

Posted by: Matthew Weller at October 15, 2014 03:14 PM

Ahmed Almoailu & Anthony Colello
Dr. Hobbs
ENG210 Ca02
15 October 2014

So far, in Agons 1 and 2 of Plato’s Symposium, we have explored the concepts of
Pederasty, the Lover/Beloved dichotomy, the Heavenly Love/Common Love
dichotomy, the Balance/Imbalance dichotomy, and the Complete/Incomplete
(or, Uninjured/Injured) dichotomy. . In Agon 2, the definition of love seems to
be approaching something recognizable, but not quite. For now, the speakers seem
to be allowing for bodily sensualities that might be labeled as either infatuation,
desire, and/or abnormal loves. In your group, discuss how ONE or more of
these concepts is present/absent in either a positive or negative way in Jun’ichirō
Tanizaki’s “Shisei” [“The Tattooer”]. Answer in your own words, but, where
possible, use quoted and cited passages from the texts to support your answer.


Answer:
There is definitely a presence of desire in Seikichi’s story. “ For a long time seikichi had cherished the desire to create a master piece on the skin of a beautiful women” (Seikichi, 3). He was searching for a women that he desired for four years, at the end of the fourth year aboun his travels he noticed a women bare milk white foot. In this instant he tried to follow her but he lost her, a couple of days later she was at his door steps in need of his services. She came inside the house, and he drugged so she would not feel the pain, and so that she was compliant. After that she woke up with a tattoo covering her back. So after four years of planning for this day it has come and pass, now he is left with the absence of desire. Also in this story there is presence of abnormal love, he was not in love with the girl but he loves the idea of his work on the beautiful girl. It is also abnormal because he has physical desire for her, however he does not desire her on a sexual level. This is abnormal because she is a geisha and every one desire her for her sexual services, but he does not.

Posted by: Ahmed Almoailu at October 15, 2014 03:30 PM

Irma Sera & Gabriela Navarro
Dr. B. Lee Hobbs
ENG 210CL Love and Desire in Literature CA02
17 October 2014

QUESTION #5: So far, in Agons 1 and 2 of Plato’s Symposium, we have explored the concepts of Pederasty, the Lover/Beloved dichotomy, the Heavenly Love/Common Love dichotomy, the Balance/Imbalance dichotomy, and the Complete/Incomplete (or, Uninjured/Injured) dichotomy. . In Agon 2, the definition of love seems to be approaching something recognizable, but not quite. For now, the speakers seem to be allowing for bodily sensualities that might be labeled as either infatuation, desire, and/or abnormal loves. In your group, discuss how ONE or more of these concepts is present/absent in either a positive or negative way in John Updike’s “A & P.”

ANSWER:
Throughout the story, a common love is presented when the narrator (Sammy) is interested with the girls who are walk into the store. However, the love Sammy has towards the girls is abnormal because it an imagine relationship, the girls are not aware for the narrator as anything more than a cashier. As his infatuation with a girl in a bikini continues, he also desires a life outside A&P. The narrator is also building himself up to be some “hero,” he is more concerned about the girls than his job or his boss’s opinion.

Posted by: Gabriela Navarro at October 17, 2014 10:40 AM

Zailet Martinez
Dr. B. Lee Hobbs
ENG 210CL Love and Desire in Literature CA02
22 October 2014

Perhaps the ascent can be made without involvement in interpersonal love at all. But if so (the mysteries seem to suggest), the philosophical pursuit of the truth must draw on the same kind of intense, emotional and (in some sense) ‘erotic’ drive that typically arises within interpersonal relationships. (Introduction, page xxxv, par.1, Christopher Gill translation)

Question:
According to Diotima, what is the ascent? What are the stages of ascent and how do you achieve each of them? What is the main point Socrates is trying to get across from Diotima?

Answer:
Diotima teaches Socrates that the ascent of love is to move from love of a single beautiful body, to higher types of love. Many of the other presenters at the Symposium believed that love in beautiful and good and that love cannot be ugly and ignorant. Diotima teaches that this is wrong, love is needed from anyone. She uses examples of animals who are willing to risk their life for their offspring. The stages of ascent are as follow “first, if his guide leads him correctly, he should love just one body and in that relationship produce beautiful discourse” (Plato, 48). After this is achieved the person needs to realize that beauty of one body is the same as beauty of another, he must stop being ignorant towards love. Then, this will allow the person to become a “a lover of all beautiful bodies” (48). He will then come to the conclusion that beauty is not only in the body but also in the mind, he will love those who are not truly beautiful but they are very smart. The main point Socrates is trying to get across is that love does not have to be as it is for most of them, that the lover pursuit the beloved because they are more knowledgeable. He claims that you can move away from interpersonal love by following the ascent to love and realize that love is different in individuals.

Posted by: Zailet Martinez at October 22, 2014 12:55 PM

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