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Philosophy class - Plato's Symposium Literature & Language Essay (Essay Sample)


Paragraph 1: Thesis. Give a clear, one-sentence description of your thesis, your main point. Very briefly summarize your interpretation, arguments, objection, reply, and conclusion.
Paragraph 2: Interpretation. Summarize the section of the primary source you will be discussing and give the speaker's main points. Use proper citation format. Explain what the speaker is saying in your own words.
Paragraph 3: Arguments, Evidence. Agree or disagree with the primary source. Clearly state what is correct or incorrect, useful or not, about the point the primary source has made. Then, provide evidence for why your determination is correct. Your evidence should be an argument that applies to everyone's experience. State the facts.
Paragraph 4: Objection and Reply. Try and raise one good objection to your own thesis. Then give your reply and save your thesis. Use clear arguments and evidence.
Paragraph 5: Conclusion. Re-state your thesis and its strongest supporting argument. If possible, add your own insight into how this conclusion improves our understanding, helps us to lead better lives.
Your essay will involve picking a main point or cluster of related points in Plato's Symposium, interpreting the points, and then arguing whether they provide useful, truthful insights or not. Some possible topics...
Phaedrus is (right/wrong) when he says love leads to heroic behaviour.
Pausanias' definitions of Common Love and Heavenly Love: are they useful?
How to encourage Heavenly Love in society through cultural practices.
Eryximachus is (right/wrong) when he says love is the harmony of opposites.
Comparing Eryximachus and Aristophanes: is love the attraction of opposites or the attraction of similar halves?
Aristophanes myth is (useful / not useful) as an allegory that explains love.
Agathon is (right/wrong) when he says love is young and avoids ugliness and age.
Socrates is (right / wrong) when he says love is necessarily of what one lacks.
Diotima is (right/wrong) in prioritizing eternal goods like wisdom and virtue above temporary goods like reproduction or art.
Compile your own definition of love based on the best parts of Symposium. Give evidence and arguments for why your definition works
Choose your own topic


Student’s Name
Lecturer’s Name
Due Date
Philosophy Class: Plato’s Symposium
Love is the desire of one person to find and infinitely please their soul mate. It is influenced by an emotional attachment towards someone. That is to say, an individual finds love after they become emotionally attached to another person. Love is also the ability to understand others as one would understand self. According to Aristophanes’ theory, love is a physical enjoyment that makes individual becomes intensely delighted in the company of another (Dover, 43). In this definition, Aristophane is attempting to illustrate that the soul has other desire for which it cannot express. Simply put, love, in the context of Plato’s symposium, is longing for someone, specifically, a soul mate as explained in Aristophanes’ myth. The myth discusses how people came to love those they love by bringing the idea of soul mates or a life time partner. It implies that Aristophanes’ myth is useful as an allegory that explains love.

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