Plato - Symposium [Benardete]

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Plato - Symposium


  • Sy mposium

    ST. "'

    Apollodonu. In my opi nion, I am not Imprcparcd 17U for what you ask about; for jusl the other day-

    when I was on my way up to town from my ]lOme in Phaleron- onc of my acquaintances sponcd me a long way off from behind and called, playing wi th his call: ~ Phalerian;' he said. "You there, Apollodorus, aren't YOII going to wai t:" And 1 stopped and leI him catch up. And he said, "Apol1ooorus., why, it was just recently thaI I was looking for yOIl ; I had wanted to I.jllcstion YOIl closely aboll t Agathon's party- the one at which Socrates, Alcibiadcs, and the others were then present at dinner B togethcr- IO question you abOut the erotic spL-cches. What were they? Someone else who had heard about the party from Phoenix the son of Philipplls was Idling me abom it, and he said Ihat YOll too knew. As a mailer of fact, there wasn't any-thing he (auld say wi th certainty. So you lell me, for it is most just tha t yOIl repon the spL'Cches of your comrade. BtH first," he said, "Iell me, were you yourself present at this pany or no tr" And J said, "I t really does seem as if there were nothing ( ertain in what your informant 101d you, if YOIl believe titatthis e party which YOIl are asking ab01l1 o

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    I was doing ~omethjng of importance, I was more miserable than anyone in the world (no less than you are at this moment), for I believed that everything was preferable to philosophy." And he said, ~Don't mock me now, bUl tell me when this party did OCCI!T:' And I said, "When we were sull boY'S> al the Lime of Aga thon's vic tory wi th his first tragedy, on lhe day after he and his choral dancers celebrated Ihe vic tory sacrifice." "Oll," he said, "a very long time ago, it seems. But who wId you? Was it

    B Socrates himself?" ~No, by Zcus,~ I said, "but the same one who wId Phoenix. It was a certain ArisLOdemns, a Kyda thenean, li llie and always unshod. He had been present at the party and, in my opinion , was lhe one most in love wid] Socrates at that time. NUl, however, tha t I have not asked Socrates toO about some points that I had heard from Aristodemus; and Socrates agreed to just what Aris todemus narratcd .~ "Why, then,~ Glaucon said, "don't yOll tell me? T he way to town, in any case, is as suitable for speaking, while we walk, as for listening."

    So as we walked, we talked together about these things; and s~ jllst as c I said at UlC stan , I am nOI unprepared. If it must be told to you as well,

    tha t is wha t 1 must do. As for me, whenever 1 make any speeches on my own abom philosophy or lis ten to Others- apart from my belief tha t 1 am benefi ted - how I enjoy it! Bu t whenever the speeches arc of another SOrt, particularly the speeches of the rich and of moneymakers- your kind of talk- then just as I am dis tressed, so do I pity your comrades,

    IK~ause yOll believe you are doing ~omething of importance, but in fact D it's all pointless. And perhaps you, in 111m, believe uta t I am a wreH;h;

    and I believe you truly believe it. I, on the other hand, do not believe it about you, I know it.

    Comrade. You are always of a piece, Apollodorus, for you are always slandering yourself and others; and in my opinion you simply believe that- starring wi th yourself- everyone is miserable except Socrates. And how you ever got the nickname ~Softy; I do not know, for YOIl are always like this in your speeches, savage against yourself and o thers except Socrates.

    E Apo//odoru.f. My deares t friend, so it is plain as it can be, is it, tha t in thinking this abom myself as well as you I am a raving lunatic?

    Comradt . It is not worthwhile, Apollodorus, to argue about this now; just do what we were begging you to do; teU what the spL'Cches were.

    Apolfodonu. Well, they were somewhat as follows- but I shall JUSt try 174A to tell it to you from the beginning as Aristodemus told it.

  • Symposium l

    He said that Socrates met him freshly bathed and wearing fancy slip~ pen, which was not SOCratL>S' usual way, and he asked Socrates where he was going now that he had become so beallliful,'

    And he said, "To dinner at Agathon'$, for yes te rday I stayed away from his victory celebration, in fear of the crowd, bu t r did agree 10 come today, It is just for this tha t 1 have gOt myself up so beamiflllly- that beau tiful I may go 10 a bcalllY. But you," he said, "how do you feel about going uninvited to dinner:' Would you be willing 10 do so:''' B

    "And 1 said," he said , "' I shall do whatever you say.'" "Then follow," he said, ~so tha t we may change and min the proverb,

    ' the good go 10 Agathon's feasts on their own.' Homer, after all, nOi only ruined it, it seems, but even commi tted an ollirage fhyhris] on this prov~ erb; for though he made Agamemnon an exceptionally good man in mar~ tial matters, and Menelaus a 'soft spearman,' yet wl,en Agamemnon was c making a saaifice and a feast, he made Menelaus L'Ome to the dinner uninvited, an inferior 10 his beuer's."

    He said that when he heard th is he said, "Perhaps I 100 shall run a risk, Socrates- perhaps it is not as yOll say, bill as Homer says, a good~

    for~nothi ng going uninvited 10 a wise man's dinner, Consider the risk in bringing me, What wi1l YOli say in your defense? For J shall not agree that I have come uninvited but shall say that it was at your invi tation," D

    "With the twO of us going on the way IOgether," he said, "we shall deliberate on what we shall say. Well, let us go,"

    He said that once they had finished their conversation along these lines, they went on. And as they were making their way Socrates some-how turned his at tention 10 himself and was left behind, and when A rislO~ demus waited for him, he asked him 10 go on ahead , When ArislOdemus gOt 10 Agathon's house, he found the door open, and he said something E ridiculous happened 10 him there, SlTaight off, a domestic servant met him and brought him 10 where the others were reclining, and he found them on the point of starling dinner, So Agathon, of course, saw him at

    I. The word autiful ( ~alo,), which is distinct from goo

  • Symposium

    once, and ~aid, ~Aristodemus, you have come at a fine time 10 share a dinner. If you have (.Xlme for something else, put it off for another time, as I was looking for YOll yesterday 10 invite you but (.'Ould not find you. But how is it tha t you are not bringing our Socrates?~

    ~And I turn around," he said, "and do not see Socrates following any-where. So I said that I myself came wi th Socrates, on his invitation 10 dinner here."

    "It is a fine thing for you 10 do," Agathon said, "but where is he?" ' 7 \~ ~He was just coming in behind me. I am wondering myself where he

    might be." "Go look , boy," Agalhon sai d, "and bring Socrates in. And you, Aris-

    IOdcmus," he said, "lie down beside Eryximachus." And he said the boy washed him so he could lie down; and another of

    tile boys came back 10 report, "Your Socrates ha~ retreated into a neigh-bor's pordt and stands there, and when I called him, he was unwilling to

    . " come m.

    "T ha t is strange," Agathon said. "Call him and don't leI him go." HAnd ArislOdemllS said that he said, "No, no, leave him alone. T hat is

    something of a habit wi th him. Sometimes he moves off and stands stock still wherever he happens to be. He will come at once, I suspect. So do not try 10 budge him, but leave him alone."

    ~Well, that is what we must do, ifit is your opinion," he said Agathon ~aid. "V:;rell now, boys, feast the rest of us. T llough you always serve in any case whatever you want 10 whenever someone is nOI standing right over YOIl, sti ll now, in the belief that I, your master, as milch as Iheothers,

    c has been invited to dinner by you , serve in such a way tha t we may . " praise you. After this, he !>aid, they dined; but Socrates did not come in, and

    thollgh Agathon often ordered that Socrates be sent for, A ristodcmlls did not permit it. T hen Socrates did come in- he had lingered as long as was usual for him - when uley were just abom in the middle of dinner. Then he said that Agathon, who happened 10 be lying down at the far end alone, said, " Here, Socrates, lie down alongside me, so that by my touching you, I 100 may enjoy the piece of wisdom that just occurred 10

    [) you while you were in the porch. It is plain tha t you found it and have it, for otherwise YOll would not ilave come away beforehand."

    And Socrates !>at down and said, "It would be a good tiling, Agathon, if wisdom were the son of thing that flows from the fuller of us inlO the

  • Symposium ,

    emptier, just by our touching one another, as the water in wine (''lIPS flows through a wool thread from the fuller to the emptier. For if wisdom tOO is like that, then J set a high price on my being placed alongside YOll, for E J believe J shall be filled from you with much fair wisdom. My own may lllrn ou t to be a sorry son of wisdom, or disputable like a dream; bu t your own is brilliant and capable of milch development, since it has flashed ou t so intcnsely from you while you arc young; and yes terday it became conspicuous among more than thirty tltousand Greek witnesses."

    ~You are ou trageous, Socrates," Agathon said . "A li llie la ter you and I will go LO court about our wisdom, with Dionysus as judge, bill now firs t attend to dinncr."

    After this, he said, when Socrates had reclined and dined wi th the rest, 176A they made libations, sang a song to the god and did all the res t of the (''llstomary rites/ and then turned to drinking. T l,en Pausanias, he said, began to speak somewhat as follows. "All right, m(.'I1," he said. "What will be the easiest way for llS to drink? Now t tell you that J am really in a very bad way from yes terday 's drinking, and J need a rest. I sllspect many of yon do too, for you were also here yesterday. So consider wha t would be the easiest way for us to drink." B

    Aristophanes then said, "That is a good suggestion, Pausanias, tu ar-range our drinking in some easier way, for I toO am one of yesterday's soaks."

    Eryximadllls, he said, the son of Akoumenos, heard them Oll! and d ,en said , "W hat a fine thing you say. But I still have need to hear from one of YOll- from Agathon- how set he is on heavy drinking."

    "Not al all," Agathon said, "nor do I have the strength." "We seem to be in luck," Eryximachm sai d, "- myself, Aristodemus., c

    Phaedms, and those here- if you who have the greatest capaci ty for drink have now given liP, for we are always incapable. And I leave Socra-tes Oll t o f account- as he can go ei ther way, he will be content with whatever we do. Now, since in my opinion none of dIose present is eager to drink a lot of wine, perhaps I should be less disagreeable were I to speak the truth about what dmnkenness is. For I believe this has become

    ,. T l.e cus,omary ri,es ~, ,I.e end of ~ ban'l',e, are si~ in number: 1) a liha,ion of llnmi.ed winc to aK"t/un d"imon (d'e"good GCnillS- ); 1) ,he dearing of ,he 'ablcs; ,) ,he wa,hing of ,he hands; ~) ,he distrihudon of wrea,hs among ,he guests; \) ,hree lihation5, one each to Zcu, Olympu. ~"d the Olymp;'" god., '0 the hc r

  • 6 Symposium

    D quite plain to me from the art of medicine. DrunkcnnL"Ss is a bard thing for human ueings; and as far as iI is in my power, I should neither be willing to go on drinking nor to advise another to do s~ paniadarly if he still has a heada

  • Symposium ,

    enough of a pastime in speedK"S. For it is my opinion that each of us., starting on the left, should recite the fairest praise of Eros that he can, and Phaedrus should be the first 10 begin, inasmueh as he is lying on the head couch and is also the father of the argument."

    ~No one," Socrates said , "will cast a vote agains t you, Eryximaclms. For I would surely nOt beg off, as I claim 10 have expert knowledge of nothing bUl erotlcs; nor would Agathon and Paus.anias beg off, to say E nothing of ArislOphanes, whose wllole activity is devoted 10 Dionysus and Aphrodi te. And none of the others I see here would refuse either. And yet it is not (Illi te fair for those of us who lie on the las t couches; bUl if those who come firs t speak in a fine and adC

  • s Symposium

    Firs t of all gods, dcvisc.::l Eros.

    c Akollsilalls agrees wilh Hesiod as well. So there is an agreement in many sour

  • Symposium 9

    as well. Alcestis, the daughter of Pelias, o ffers a sufiicient tes timony for Greeks on behalf of this argument. She alone was willing to die on ueilalf of her husband, though his fa ther and mother were alive; but Ihrough her love she so milch surpassed his parents in friendshi p thai she showed c them up as alien to their own son and only related to him in name. Her performance of this deed was though t 10 be so noble in the opinion nOt only of human beings bill of the gods as well that, although there have been many who have accomplished many noble deeds, the gods have given to only a select number of them the guerdon of sending up their souls again from Hades, and hers Ul(~y did send up in admiring delight at her deed. So gods, 100, hold in particular esteem the zeal and virtue that D pertain to love. Orpheus, the son of Oeagrns, uley sent back from Hades unfulfilled; and U10ilgh they showed him a phantom of his wife, for whom he II ad l:Ome, li ley did not give her very self to him, because il was thought he was soft, li ke the lyre player he was, and Ilad nOI dared to die for love like Alcestis, b1ll contrived to go into Hades alive. Consequently, tlley imposed a punishment on him, and made him die at the hands of women, and did not honor him as they had Achilles, the son of T hetis. F. For Achilles they sen t away to the Isles of the Blest, because, though he had learned fr om his mother that he wuuld be killed if he killed HeclOr, and that if he did not, he would relllrn home and die in old age, sti ll he dared to choose to l:Ome to the aid of his lover Pauoclus; and wi th his vengeance accomplished, he dared nOI only to die on his behalf bill to lSoA die after him who had died. On this ac(;ount, the gods were paniL'ularly impressed and gave him outs tanding honors, because he had made so much of his lover. Aeschylus talks nonsense in claiming that Achilles was in love with Palroclus (rather Ihan li le Oiller way around), fo r Achilles was more beallli ful than not only Pauod us UIlI all the other heroes as well; and besides, he was IInhearded , and thirdly, far younger than Pa-trodu s, as Homer says.' Wen, anyhow, though the gods really hold in very high eSleem that virtue which concerns love, they wonder, admire, R and confer benefi ts even more when the beloved has affection for Ihe lover than when the lover has it fur the beloved. A lover is a more divine thing than a beloved, for he has the god wi thin him. This is the reason why they honored Achilles more than Alcestis and sent him to the Isles of Ihe BlesI.

    7. Homer, Iliad, 2.67l, 11.786.

  • [ 0 Symposium

    ~So this is how I assert thai Eros is the oldest, mosl honorable, and mosl competent of Ihe gods wilh regard 10 the acquisition of virtue and happiness by human beings bOlh when living and dead."

    c He said that Pilaedrus made some sllch speech, and after Phaedrus Ihere were some others tha t he scarcely could recall; he passed them over and told of P-.lllsanias' speech. He said that Pausanias said, " Phaedms, in my opinion it is not noble the way the argument has been proposed 10 ,,,- commanding 11S \0 eulogize Eros in so unqualified a fashi on. For were Eros one, it would be noble, bill as it is, it is not noble, for he is not one; and as he is not one, it is more correct that it be declared beforehand

    D which Eros is 10 be praised. So firs t J shall try to SCI the record straight, 10 point out the Eros who is 10 be praised, and then 10 praise him in a manner worthy of the god . We all know that there is no Aphrodi te with-Olll Eros; and were she one, Eros would be one; Inn since there arc IWO Aphrodites, il is necessary tiJai Ihere be IWO Eroles as well. \Vho would deny Ihal there are two goddesses? One surely is Ihe elder and has no mother, the daugh ter of Uranos, UlC one \0 whom we apply the name Uranian; tile OUler is younger and the daughter of Zeus and Dione, tile

    F. one we call Pandemus.s So it is necessary that the Eros who is a fell ow worker wilh one correctly be called Pandemus, and the other one, U ra-nian. Now all gods must be praised, bUi one must sti ll try 10 say what has been allotted 10 each god. Every action is of ti le following SOrt : When being done in terms of itself, il is neither noble nor base. For example,

    ISlA whal we are now doing, eilher drinking, singing, or conversing, none of these things is in itself a noble thing, only in terms of how it is done in the doing of it does it IUrn OU I to be the sort of thing um it is. For if it is done nobly and correctly, it proves 10 be noble, and if incorrectiy, base. So, 100, in the case of loving and Eros, for Eros as a whole is not noble nor deserving of a eulogy, bm only that Eros who provokes one to love in a noble way.

    ~Now the Eros who bel ongs to Aphrodite Pandemus is tmly pande-H mian and acts in any sort of way. And here YOll have the one whom good-

    for-nothing human beings have as their love. Those who arc of the same SOrt as tilis Eros are, first of all, no less in love wi th women than wi th boys; secondly, ti ley are in love wi th their bodies ra ther ti lan their souls;

    ~. PanJc",,,,, which is a cult {ille, li{er~11y mea", "c{>mmon I{> all {he people" and does nm necessa rily mean S

  • Symposium "

    and thirdly, dley are in love wilh the sUipidest there can be, for they have an eye only to the act and are um;oncerned wi th whether it is noble or no t. T hat is how it happens that it turns OIH for them, however it turns out, with the same likelihood of its being good as the opposite. For Eros Pandcmus depends on the Aphrodi te who is far younger than the other goddess, and who partakes in her birth of female as well as of male. BIIt

  • " Symposium

    (wherever tiley live under barbarians), it has been customarily held to be shamefuL In the eyes ofbarlxlfians, on J(;\:Oum of their tyrannies, pcdcr-

    c asty as well as philosophy and the love of gymnastics is shameful; for I SllspeCt that it is nOI to the advantage of the rulers that great and proud thoughts be engendered among [heir subjects, any morc than s trong friendships and associations. It is precisely this Ihal love, as well as all these other things, especially tends to implant. And the tyrants here [in Atllcnsl actually learned this by deed; for tlte love of Aristogci ton and the friendship of Harmodius, once i l became firm, dissolved the tyrants' rule: So wherever il has been laid down as shameful to gratify lovers, it

    D has been through the vicc uf thusc whu havc donc so- the hankering after more on the part of the rulers, and the lack of manliness on the part of their subjects; and wherever the gratifying of lovers has been held to he a fine thing wililout qualification, it has hL'Cn through the slothfulness of soul of those who have so ordained. But here [in Athens] there are mueh finer L'1.[stomS than elsewhere; yel jllst as I said , they are not easy to understand. LeI one jllst reAecl that it is said to he a finer thing to love openly than in seeret; and panimlarly to love the noblest and best, even if they are uglier than o thers; and again, tha t everyone enthusiastically encou rages the lover, and nOi as if he were duing anything shameful; and if a lover makes a successful capture, it is thought to be fine, and if he

    E fails, shameful; and tha t, for making an attempt at seizure, the law grams tbe lover the opportunity to be praised for doing amazing deeds. If one dared to do any of these deeds in pursuing and wishing to accomplisb

    ,SJA anything else whatsoever except this, one would reap the greatest Te-proadles leveled against philosophy. For if, in wanting to take money from someone, or to take a governmental oAicc, or any other position of power, one were willing to aCI jusl as lovers do toward their be1oved-making all sorts of supplications and beseechings in their TC

  • Symposium

    rL-proaching him, on the ground that lie is attempting to carry through some eXl:eedingly fine thing; and what is most dreadful, as the many say, is that, if he swears and then departs from his oath, for him alone there is pardon from the gods- for they deny that an oath in sex is an oath. TIlliS ule gods and human beings have made every opporlllniLy available c to the lover, as the law here states. Now on these grounds one migh t suppose that it is customarily held to be a very fine thing in this cil)' bUlh to love and for lovers to have friends. Bllt on tlte other hand, wlten fa thers set attendan ts in charge of the beloveds and prohibit them from convers-ing wi th their lovers, and the auendant has this as a standing order, and the beloved's contemporaries and comrades blame him if they see any-thing li ke this going on; and the elders, in IllTn, do not stand in the way D of Utose who cast reproaches or abuse them on the grounds that they arc speaking incorrL'Cily- then, if one glances in tl lis difL'Ction, one would helieve that such a thing is customarily held to be most shameful. T his is to he explained, I helieve, as follows. T he matter is nO! simple; and, as was said at the start, it is neither noble nor base in itself, bll t if nobly done, noble, and ifhasely done, base. Now, it is base 10 gratify one who is no good and to do so in a bad way; while it is noble to gratify the good and to do so in a noble way. It is the pandemian lover who is no good, the one in love with the body rather than with the soul. He is not even, ~ for example, a las ting lover, because he is in love wi th a thing that is not las ting either. As soon as the bloom of the body fades - which is what he was in love wi th- 'he is off and takes wing,' having made a foul shame of many speeches and promises. But he who is in love wi th a good char-aCler remains throughout life, for he is wdded to what is las ting. So ollr law, in good and noble fashion, really wants to test these and to have the rS4A heloved grati fy one grmlp of lovers and escape from the others. On al:-COUnt of this it exhorts lovers \0 pursue and beloveds to Aee, setting up a contest so that there may be a leSt as \0 which group the lover belongs and 10 which the beloved. And because of this, firs t, to le t oneself be caught too quickly is Cl ls tomarily held shameful, since it is precisely the passing of lime that is thought to test many things nobly; and secondly, to be caught by money and political power is shameful, regardless of whether a hurt humbles the beloved and prevents him from resisting, or a 8 benefit consisting of monL1' or political favors prevents him from fecling contempt; for nei ther money nor poli tkal favors are thOllglll to be stable or lasti ng, to say nOlhing of Ihe fact that in the namral e01lTse of thi ngs

  • "


    no noble and generous fricnd~hip comes Olll of them. So there is only one way left according to our law, if a beloved is \0 gratify a lover in a

    c tine way. For JUSt as we have a law thaI in the case of lovers 10 be enslaved willingly in any slavery to the beloved is agreed nOI to be flauery nor a matter of reproach, so too there is only one o ther willing enslavement that is not a matter of reproach. T his is Lhe enslavement regarding virlllc; for it is customarily held by liS that if anyone is willing 10 devote his care 10 someone in tile belief that he will be bettcr because of him, ei ther in regard 10 some kind of wisdom or any o ther part of virllle wha tsoever, this willing enslavement is not di sgraceful nor is it fla ttery. So these I WO

    D laws (the law about pederasty and the law aboll t philosophy and the res t of vinue) must comribme to the same end ifi t is going to mrn om that a beloved's gratifica tion of a lover is noble. For whenever lover and be-loved come to the same poim, each with a law, the one, in serving a be-loved who has granted his favors, would justly serve in anything; and the other, in assisting him who is making him wise and good, would justly

    E assist.. And the one is able to contribute to prudence and the res t of virtue, while the o ther stands in need of them for ule aC(luisition of education and the rest of wisdom. T hen and only then - when these laws con-verge- docs it resul t that a belovcd's gratification of his lover is noble; bm in any other circumstance it is no t. Even to be deceived in this regard is no disgrace; but in all other cases, whether one is deceived or not, it

    J8jA does involve disgrace. If someone gramL-d his favors to a lover for the sake of weal th because he thought him rkh, and then were deceived and gOt no money when the lover was found to be poor, it is no less a dis-grace; for a beloved of that son is thought to display his very self as one who for the sake of money would serve anyone in anything, and this is not noble. So along the same line of argument, were someone 10 grant his favors because he thought Ihal his lover was good and that he himself would be better through his friendship with this lover, then even if his

    H lover is found to be bad and wi thom vi rille, the deception is noble all the same. For he 100 is though t 10 have made plain what holds in his own case- that strictly for the sakc of virtue and of becoming bener hc would show his IOtal zeal in everything, and this is the noblest thing of all. T hus, for the sake of virtue alone is it wholly noble to gram one's favors. T his is the love of tile Uranian goddess, and it is Uranian and very worthwhile

    c for both ci ty and pri vate men, for it compels both the lover himself and the beloved - each in his own case-to exercise much concern for vir-

  • Symposium , I

    me. All li le other loves arc of the o ther goddess, the pandemian. H ere, Phaedms;' he said, ~you have my extemporary contribution to Eros."

    Wi th Pausanias' pausation- the wise teach me to talk in such bal-anced phrases- Aris todemus said that it was Aristophanes' tllrn to speak; however, he had just got the hiccups (from satiety o r something else) and was unable to speak, bllt he did say- the doctor Eryximadms D was lying on the couch ncxt tu him- "Eryximadllls, it is only just that you ei ther stop my hicCllps or speak on my behalf un til I do stop." And Eryximadms said, ~Well, I shall do both. I shall talk in your lllrn, and YOIl, when yOIl slOp hicCll ping, in mine. And while I am speaking, see if by holding your breath for a long time, you make the hiccu ps SLOp; but if they do not, gargle wi th water. And if they p rove very severe, take some- ~ thing with which you might irritate your nose, and sneeze; and if you do this once or twice, even if the Iliecups are ~evere, they will SLOp." ~ G o ahead and speak," ArisLOphanes said. ~ I shall do the rest."

    T hen Eryximadms spoke. ~ \Vell, in my opinion, since Pausanias made a fine start 10 hisspcedl but did not adequately complete it, it is necessary for me 10 try to plH a com plete end 10 the argument. Inasmuch as Eros ,86~ is double, it is, in my opinion, a fine thing to divide him; bill that he presides no t only over the souls of human beings in regard LO the beau ti-ful bu t also in regard LO many o ther things and in other cases- the bodies of all the animals as well as those things tha t grow in the earth, and JUSt aboU! all the thing~ li lat arc- d lat, in my o pinion, I have come to see from medicine, our an. For how great and wondrom the god is in his B comprehensive aims, both in terms of human things and in terms of di-vine lilings! I shall begin my speech with medicine, so that we may vener-ate li lat an as well. T ile nalllre of bodies has this double Eros., for the health and the sickness of the body are by agreement different and dis-similar; and the dissimilar desires and loves dissimilar things. Now, there is one love that presides over tlte healtlty Slate, and another over the sickly. Jus t as Pausanias was saying, it is a fine thing 10 gratify those who are good among human beings and disgraceful to gratify the intemperate, e so tuo, in the ease of men's bodies taken by themselves is it a fine and needful thing LO gratify the good and healthy things of eaeh body (this is what has the name 'the medical'); but it is shamefu lLO gratify the bad and sickly things, and one ha~ LO ab~ tain from favoring li lem, if one i~ LO be skilled. For the an of medicine is, to sum it up, the expen knowledge of the erotics of the body in regard to repletion and evaCllation; and he who

  • ,6 Symposium

    D diagnostically discriminates in lilesc things between the noble and ba~e love is Ihe one most skilled in medkinc; while he who indu(."Cs changes, so as to bring iliom the a',:'quisition of one kind of love in place of the oIlier, and who, in whatever thi ngs where there is no love bUl there needs mllst be, has the expert knowledge 10 instill it, or 10 remove il from those things in which it is [bill should nOt be], would be a good. craftsman. For he milS!, in point of fa Cl , be able to make the things that arc must at cnmi ty in the body into friends and 10 make them love one another. T he most opposi te things are Ihe most at enmity: cold :and hOl, bi uer and

    F. sweet, dry and moist, and anything of the sort. Our ances tor Asklepios, who had the expert knowledge to instill love and unanimity into these things- as the poets here assert and as I am convinced is SO- put to-gether our an. Not only medicine, as I say, is entirely captained by this

    r87A god, but likewise gymnasrics and farming. And iI is plain to anyone who pays the s[iginesl :lIIention that music is also on the same level as these-as perhaps Heraclcims toO wan ts to say, though as far as his aetual words g!\ what he says is nOI nne. For he says tha t the one 'alone in differing wi th itself agrees wi th itself; ' as is the harmony of lyre and bow: ro It is a lo t of nonsense to affirm that a harmony differs with itself or is composed of still differing things. But perhaps he wanted to say tha t, from the prior

    B differences between the high and the low, there arises from thei r later agreement a harmony by means of the an of music; for there surely would no longer be a harmony from high and low notes while tl ley were differing with each other; for harmony is consonance, and consonanL'C is a kind of agreement. BIlt it is impossible to derive agreL'1T)ent from differing thi ngs as long as they arc differing; and it is impossible, in mrn, to fit together the differing o r nonagreeing- just as rhythm arises from

    c the fas t and the slo w, from their prior stale of difference and thei r subse-quent agreement. Here, music inserts agreement in all these things (just as, there, medicine does) as it instills mU lI tal love and unanimity; and music, in 111m, is expert knowledge of Ihe erotics of harmony and rhythm. And in the simple cons tilll tion of ha rmony and rhythm it is not at all hard to diagnose the erotics, for the double eros is not yet present there; but whenever rhytllm and harmony have to be employed in regard

    10. T he rompler. fr.gment (Dicls_KramL ) ru n" -They do not know how it [presumahly the one1 in d iffering wilh ilself ogr~"'s wi,h itscl E ~ counrernrrrring filli J1g together 1h~rmony I as th .. or bow and Iyre.- *Counler-srraining- i. an old v.,i o", fur .. co,mtemrrniJ1g.-

  • Symposium

    to Imman beings, eitller by making rhyilim and harmony (what they call D lyric poetry) or uy using correctly the songs and melers that have been made (what has been called edlication), it is difficul t and a good craftsman is needed. For the same argllment relUrns here- namely, thai de

  • ,8 Symposium

    ~Thjs is tile great and ovcrwllelming power tbat Eros as a whole bas (and indeed it is ra ther dose to IOlal power); Iml the Eros (."()m:emed with good things, consummately perfected with moderation and justice, among llS and among gods, this has UlC greatest power and provides us wi th every kind of happiness, making liS able to associate with onc an-other and to be friends even wilh the gods who are stronger than we arc.

    E Now, perhaps in praising Eros J tou am omiuing many things; but I have done thalullwillingly. For if I did omit anything, it is your job, Aristoph-;mes, to fill it in; or if yOll intend to make a different eulogy of the god, proceed 10 do S

  • Symposium '9

    man nallire and its alllictions. Our nature in the past was not the same as now bm of a different son. Firs t of all, the ra(;es of human beings were three, not tWO as now, male and female; for there was also a th ird race E that shared in both, a race whose name still remains, though it itself has vanished. For at tha t Li me one race was androgynous, and in looks and name it combined both, the male as well as the female; bm now it does not exist except for the name that is reserved for reproach. Secondly, the looks of each human bcing were as a whole round, with back and sides in a circle. And each had four arm~ and legs equal in number to his arms, and twO faces alike in all respects on a cylindrical neck, bm there was one I ')OA head for both faces- they were set in opposite directions- and four cars, and twO sets of genitals, and all the rest that one might conjectu re from this. Each used to walk upright tOO, just as one docs now, in what-ever direction he wanted; and whenever he had the impulse to run fas t, then JUSt as IlImblers with their legs straight om a(;lUally move around as they tumble in a circle, so did they, with their eight limbs as supports, quickly move in a circle. It is for this reason that tlte races were three and B of this sort: hecause the male was in o rigin the offspring of the sun; the female, of the earth; and the race that shared in both, of the moon- since the moun also shares in both. And they themselves were globular, as was their manner of walking, becausc they were like their parents. Now, they were awesome in their strength and robustness, and they had great and proud thoughts, so tiley made an attempt on the gods. And wl,at Homer says iliom Ephiahes and Oms, II is said abou t them- that they anempted to make an ascent into the sky with a view to assaulting the gods. T hen c Zeus and the other gods deliberated as to what lhey should do with them. And they were long perplexed, for the gods knew neiti,er how they (;QuId kill them and (jUSt as they had stfil(;k the giants with lightning) oh[iterate the race-for, in that case, their own honors and sacrifices from human beings would vanish- nor ltow they could allow them to con tinue \0 hehave licentiously. T hen Zeus though t hard and says, 'Tn my own opi n-ion,' he said, 'I have a device whereby human beings would continue to exist and at the same time, having bccome weaker, would stop their licentiousness. I shall now cut each of them in lWo,' he said; 'and tiley D will be both weaker and more useful to us through the increase in their numbers. And they will walk upright on twO legs. Bill if they arc tiiOuglu

    lI. Homer. OJy ... y. II.JOI-10; fliaJ.I .l~ I-9 I.

  • Symposium

    to behave licentiously still, and arc unwilling to keep quiet, IIlen I shall CIII them again in two,' he said, 'so lilal they will go hopping on one leg.' As soon as he said this he began to CUI human beings in tWO, JUSt like

    E those who Cllt sorb-apples in preparation for pickling, or those who Cllt eggs with hairs. And whenever he Clit someone, he had Apollo llIrn the face and half the neck around to face ule Cllt, so that in beholding his own cu lling the human beiog might be more o rderly; and he had him heal all the rest. Apollo IIIrned tile face arollnd; and by drawing together the skin from everywhere toward what is now called the belly (just like drawstring bags) he made one opening, which he tied off in the middle of the belly, and that is what they call the navel. He shaped up the chest

    '91A and smoothed Out many of the o ther wrinkles, wi th somewhat the same kind of tool as shoemakers usc in smoothing the wrinkles in leather on tlte last; but he left a few wrinkles, IIlose on the belly itself and the navel, to be a reminder of our andent atilktion. When its nature was L"111 in IWO, each- desiring its own half- came together; and throwing their arms arollnd one another and entangling themselves with one another in IIleir desire to grow together, they began to die orr due 10 hunger and the rest

    H of their inactivi ty, because they were unwilling 10 do anything apart from one another; and whenever one of the halves did die and the o ther was left, the one that was left tried to seek ou t another and entangle itself wi th that, whether it met the half of the whole woman- and that is what we now call a woman- or of a man; and so IIley continued to perish. But ZL'US took pity on them and supplies another devke: He rearranges thdr genitals toward the front - for up till then they had them on the outside,

    c and they generated and gave birth not in one another but in the earth, like cicadas- and for this purpose, he changL.a this pan of them toward the front, and by this means made generation possible in one another, by means of the male in the female; so that in embracing, if a man meets with a woman, they might generate and the race cominue; and if male meets with male, there might at least be sa tie ty in their being lOgether; and they might pause and 111m to work and attend 10 the res t of their livelihood . So it is really from such early times that human beings have

    o had, inborn in themselves, Eros for one another- Eros, the bringer-together of IIleir ancient na ture, who tries to make one Ollt of twO and to Ileal their human nature. Each of us, then, is a token of a IlIIman being, be(;Juse we arc slicL-d like fille ts of sole, twO 0111 of one; and so each is always in search of his own token. Now all who arc the men's slice from the common genus, which was then called androgynous, are lovers of

  • Symposium "

    women; and many adulterers have been of this genus; and, in turn, all who are women of this genus prove to he lovers of men and adulteresses. E And all women who are sliced off from woman hardly pay attention to men but are rather turned toward women, and lesbians arise from this genus. Bu t all who are male slices pursue the males; and while they are boys- because they are cllliets of the male- they are friendly to men and enjoy lying down togcthcr wi th and embracing men; and these arc '9H tile best of boys and lad~ because they are naturally the manliest. Some, to be sure, assert Ula t such boys are shameles~ hlll they lie. For it is not Ollt of shamelessness tha t they do this blll 0111 of boldness, manliness, and masculinity, feeling affection for what is like to themselves. And there is a grcat proof of this, for once they have rcachL-d maturity, only men of this kind go off to poli tical affairs. When they arc fully grown men, they arc pederasts and naturally pay no attention to marriage and procreation, 8 hut arc compelled to do so hy the law; whereas they would he L-ontent to live unmarried with one another. Now it is one of this sort who wholly becomes a pederast and passionate lover, always feeling affection for what is akin 10 himself. And when the pederast or anyone else meets with that very one who is his own half, then they are wondrously struck with friendship, attachment, and love, and arc just ahout unwilling 10 be apart e from one another even for a short time. And here you have those who continue through life with one another, though they could not even say what uley want to get for tlK"msclves from one another. For no one would he of the opinion that it was sexual intercourse d lat was wanted , as though it were for this reason- of all things- that each so enjoys being with the other in great earnestness; but the soul of each plainly wants something clse. V;'hat it is, it is incapable of saying, but it divines what it D wants and speaks in riddles. If HephaeslUs wi th his 100ls were to stand over them as they lay in the same place and were to ask, 'What is it that you want, llilman beings, to get for yourselves from one another:' - ood if in uleir perplexi ty he were to ask them again, 'Is i t this you desire, 10 be with one another in the very same place, as much as is possible, and not 10 leave one another night and day? For if you desire that, I am will-ing to fuse you and make you grow together into the same thing, so ~ that- though rwo- you would he one; and as long as you lived, you would both live together JUSt as though you were one; and wi,en you dk-d, there again in Hades you would he dead together as one instead of as two. So see if you love this and would be content if you gOI it .' \Ve know that there would not be even one wh~ if he heard this, would

  • " Symposium

    refuse, and it would be self-evident that he wants nothing else ti l an this; and he would quite simply believe he had heard what he had been desir-ing all along: in conjunction and fusion with the beloved , 10 become one from two. The cause of this is that this was our andent nature and we ")J~ were wholes. So love is the name for the desire and pursu it of the whole.

    And previollsly, as I say, we were onc; but now through ollr inj ustice we have been dispersed by the god, jllS! as the Arcadians were dispersed by the Spart.ans. There is the fear, then, tha t if we arc not orderly in ollr behavior 10 the gods, we shall be split again and go around like those who are modeled in relief on stelae, sawed through ollr nostrils, like dice. For Ihis reason every real man mllst be exhorted to be pious toward the gods

    B in all his acts, so tha t we may avoid the one result and get the other, as E ros is our gu ide and general. Let no one act contrary to Eros- and he acts contrary wlloever in(.-urs the enmity of the gods- for if we lK~ome friends and reconciled to the gods, we shall find ou t and meet with our own favo rites, which few at the moment do. And please don't le t Eryxi-maelms suppose, in making a comedy of my speech, tha t I mean Pausa-

    c nias and Aga thon- perhaps they have found their own and are both na t-urally born males. For whatever the case may be wi th them, I am referring to all men and women: our race would be happy if we were to bring our love to a consummate end, and eaeh of us were to get his own favo rite on his relllrn to his ancient nalllre. And if this is the best, it must n(.~essarily be the ca~e tha t, in present cir('1.lmstances., that which is closest 10 it is the beSt ; and that is 10 get a favori te whose nalllre is 10 one's taste.

    D And were we to hymn the god who is the cause of this we should justly hymn Eros, who at the present time benefits us the most by leading us to what is our own; and in the ftllure he offers ule greatest hopes, while we offer piety 10 the gods, to res tore us 10 our andent nalllre and uy his healing make us ulessed and happy.

    Here, Eryximaehus," he said, "is my speech aboll t Eros, different from yours. So, jllst as I begged you, don't make a comedy of it , in order

    F. that we may listen 10 what each of the o thers- or rather, what each of the two- will say; for Agathon and Socrates arc left."

    "Well, I shall obey you," he said Eryximachus said . "Your speech was indeed a pleaslITe for me. And if I did not know that uoth Socrates and Agathon weTe skilled in erotics, I should be very much afraid o f uleir being at a loss for words on a(.~ount of the fullness and variety of what has been said; bu t as it is, I am confident."

  • Symposium '3

    Socrates li len said, "T hat is becallse yOIl YOl1Tsdf put up a fine sllow '94A in the comest, EryximadlUs; but if you were where I am now, or rather where I shall be when Agathon has spoken well, then you would really be afraid and as wholly barned as I am now."

    ~YOII want to bewitch me, Socrate~" Agathon said. "You wOlild have me believe that the audience is filII of expectation that I shall speak well, and in that way, I shall be in turmoil."

    ~I should surely be forge tful, Agathon,~ SOCrateS said, ~if I did tha t. I saw your courage and greatness of mind in mounting the platform with R the actors and in facing so large an alldience when YOIl were about to display your own speeches, and I saw that you were in no way dis-turbed - should I now believe tha t you will be in a lllrmoil on account of us few human beings?~

    "Wllat's this, Socratl.."'j?~ Agathon said. "You really do not believe that I am so wrapped up in the theater as not 10 know that to a man of sense a few who are sensible arc more terrifying than many fools?"

    ~Well , I should surely be in disgrace, Agathon; ' he said, "were I to c presllme any lack of urbani ty in yOIl; for I know very well tha t were you to meet any YOIl believed wise, yOIl would think more of them than of the many. But J suspect that we shall not prove to be of the wise, for we toO were present there and were part of the many; but if you were to meet others who were indeed wise, then you might be ashamed before them- if yOll were perllaps to believe that yOIl were doing something that is disgracefu1. Is this what you mean?"

    "What YOll say is tr1le." ~BlIt YOll wOlild not be ashamed before the many if you believed you

    were doing something disgraceful?" Phaedms then internl pted and said, "Dear Agathon, if you answer D Socrale~ it will nOI make any difference to him what effect this might have on ollr present arrangements, provided only that he has someone to converse wi th, especially ifhe is beautiful. And I myself listen 10 Socra-tes' conversation with pleasure; bu t I am compelled to attend to Ihe eu-logy to Eros and to receive from each one of you your speech; so le t each of you repay the god and then go on conversing as you were:'

    "Well, what you say is fine, Phaedrus," Agathon said, "and nothing ~ keeps me from speaking; for it will be possible for me to converse with Socrales on many other occasions.

    " I want firs t to say how I mUSI speak, and then 10 speak. For in my

  • Symposium

    own opinIOn all the previous speakers did not c.:u logize the god but Messed human beings for the goods of whkh the god is the l:ause; ye t no

    '9\A one has said what son is he who makes these gifts. T here is one proper manner in every praise of anything: 10 [ell in speech- wllomever [he speech is abOlll- what sort he is and what sort of things he causes. This is the just way for us \00 10 praise Eros- first what sort he is, and then his gifts. r deelare that though all gods arc happy, Eros (i f sacred law allow i[ and it be wi thom nemesis 10 say so) is the happiest of diem, as he is Ihe most beautiful and the best. As the most beautiful he is of the following sort: Fi rst, he is the yOlJngest of gods. Phaedms; and he by

    B himsel f supplies a great proof for this assertion, for with headlong fligh t he avoids old age- swifl though it plainly is, coming on us, at any rate, swi fter than he should . It is precisely old age that Eros naturally detests; he does not even come within hailing distance of it. He is alwa),!; with and of the young. For tile old saying holds good , tha t like \0 like always draws near. T hough I agree wi th Pllaedrus in many other respects. I do not agree thaI Eros is more ancient than Kronos and Iapetus; bUl l aflirm

    c his being Ihe youngest of gods and ever young. And the events of old abolH gods of which Hesind and Parmenides speak belong to Necessity and nOl Eros, if wha t they say is lrue. Otherwise there would not have been castra tions and bindings of each o ther, and many other acts of vio-lence among the gods, had Eros been among them ; but there would have lK-en friendsl,ip and peace, JUSt as there is now since Eros became king of the gods. So he is young, and besides being young, he is tender. But

    D tllere is need of a poet as good as Homer was \0 show a god's tenderness. Homer says that Ale is a goddess and tender- hef feet at any fa te arc tender- saying:

    'Tender arc her feel, for sbe docs nOI on I.he threshold Draw ncar. blll lo! sbe walks on the heads of men.'''

    So in my opinion it is wi th a fine piece of evidence tha t he shows her softness, because she walks not on the hard bill on the sofl. And we 100

    E shall use the same piece of evi dence aboul Eros 10 prove that he is soft; for not upon earth does he walk nor even on skulls, which are hard ly soft, hili on the softesl of beings ile walks and dwells. For he has SCI up his

    1>. Homer. l!iad. 19.9~--

  • Symposium 'I

    dwelling place in the characters and souls of gods and Imman beings, and nOI in eaeh and every soul- for whichever soul he finds to have a hard character, he goes away (rom, and whichever he finds to have a soft one he dwells in. So., as he is always touching with his fec t and every other part the softest of the softest, it is necessary that he he most tender. Now besides being youngest and tenderest, he is su pple in his looks. O therwise 1?6A he would not be able to fold himself around everywhere, nor 10 be un-ohserved on first entering or on departing from every soul, if he were hard . The harmony of his figure is a grea t piece of evidence for his pro-portioned and supple appearance, and on all sides it is agreed that Eros is exceptionally harmonious; for lack of harmony and Eros are always at war wi th one another. T he god's way of living among blooming Rowers means tha t his complexion is beamiful; for Eros does not settle on what is fading and has passed its bloom, whether il he hody or ~oul or anything 8 else, hm wherever a place is hlooming and Sl:ented, there he scn les and remams.

    ~ Now this is enough abou t beauty as attributable to the god, tllough many points are still omined; bill Eros' virllle must next he spoken of. The greatest thing is that Eros neither commits injustice nor has injustice done 10 him, nei ther against a god nor hy a god, neither against a human being nor by a human being. For it is not by violence tha t Eros is affected, if he is affected at all - fo r violence docs not touch him; nor does he act with violence, for everyone of his own accord serves Eros in everything. c And whatever anyone of his own act:Ord agrees upon with anolher of his own accord, the 'royal laws of lhe city' declare to be jllst. And besides tile share he has in justice he has his fullest share in moderation. For it is agreed thai to be moderate means to dominate over pleasures and desires; hut no pleasure is stronger than Eros; and if other pleasures are weaker, they will he dominated by Eros; and since it is he who is dominant, then in dominating pleasures and desires Eros must be exceptionally moder-ate. And besides, in point of courage, 'nOI even Ares resists' Eros; for D Ares does not possess Eros (for Aphrod ite, as the story goes), bu t Eros Arcs. And he who possesses is stronger than he who is possessed; and in dominating the bravest of all tile rest, he must be the bravest. Now that the god 's justice, moderation, and courage have been mentioned, all that remains is wisdom; so, as far as I can, I must try to sllpply the omission. And first - that 1 tOO might honor our an as EryximacllUs did his- the E god is a poet of such wisdom that he can make poets of o thers tOO; at any

  • " Symposium

    ratc, everyone whom Eros tou ches proves to be a poet, 'though he be wi thom the Muses uefore.' We can, acwrdingly, properly make use of this fact 10 infer that in every kind of musical making [Le., pOCtryl Eros is a good poel [maker]; for what one does nOl have and does not kno w, one could nei ther give to another nor leach another. And who will oppose

    'nA the fa ct Ihal Ihe making of all animals is nothing but Eros' wisdom, by which all the animals come to be and grow? And don't we knuw that, in the case of the arts, whomever thi s god Icaches turns Ollt 10 be renowned :and conspicuolls in craftsmanship, and tha t he whom Eros docs not toll

  • Symposium

    "Here, Phaedrns, you have the ~peech from me;' lie said. "Let it be dedkated 10 the god, sharing, as far as I am able, partly in playfulness, partly in measured earnesmess."

    ArislOdemus said that when Agathon had finished speaking, all those 19~A present applauded vigorollsly, as the youth had spoken in a way as suited to himself as to the god . Socra tes then said, wi th a glance at Eryximadllls, "Son of Akoumenos,~ he said, "is it you r opinion that my long-standing fear was groundless, and thaI I was not prophetic, when I said before tha t Agathon would speak in a marvelous way, and tha t r should be at a loss:"

    "I n my opinion,~ Eryximadllls said, "your nrs t point was indeed pro-phetic, tha t Agathon would speak well; but as 10 Ihe other, thaI yuu would be at a loss, tha t I do n01 believe."

    "You blessed innocent! How can you say I ha l ?~ Socrates said. "Am I 8 and anyone else whatsoever not 10 be at a loss afler so fair and varied a spt.'Cch has bet.>n made? T hough the rest was not quite so marvelous, thaI bit allhe end- who would not be thunders truck on hearing the beauty of its words and pIt rases? I for my part, on reflecting that I myself sholiid be unable to say anything nearly as beautiful, almost ran o ff and was gone in shame-i f! had any place 10 go. For the speech reminded me of Gor- c gias; so J was simply affected as in the saying of Humer's. J was afraid that Agathon in his speech would at las t send the head of Ihe dread speaker Gorgias against my speeches and turn me 10 very SlOne in speechlessnt.-ss." And then J realized thaI, after all, I am 10 be laughed al for having agreed 10 eulogize Eros in turn with you, and for claiming D that J was skilled in erotics; for as it has turned 0111, J know nothing of tlte matter, no r how one is 10 eulogize anything. For in my stupidi ty I believed ti ,e trmh i,ad 10 be IOld aboll1 anything Ihal was given a eulogy, and thallhis was the underpinning, and that by selet:ling the most beallli-ful parts of the mllh one was 10 arrange them in the seemliest manner possible. And J was quite filled wi th the prolld Ihough tthat J shOll Id speak well, since r knew the tnJlh about praising anything. Bill it was not this after all, it seems, Iha t was meant by the fair praising of anything, blll the att ribution 10 Ihe matter at hand of the greatest and fairest things possible E regardless of whether this was so or not. And if the praise were false, it was of no imporlance anyway; for the injunction was, it seems, that each

    ll. A plln on Gorgi.s and Gorgon, whose head Odysseus was Persephone would send aw-inSI him if he lingered in Hades (Odyssq, , .. 6F). "Dread speal:er- also meanS "skilled spe~ker.-

  • ,8 Symposium

    of m should he thou gin to eulogize Eros, and nOl juSt L'u logizc him. It is for this reason, I suspect, that you [cave no argument umurncd and dedi-cate each and every argument to Eros. And YOII assen that he is of this son and that son and the cause of so many things, so tha t he may seem '??~ to be as beallliful and good as possible- plainly 10 those who do nO l

    know, for this surely is not the case for those who do know- and so the praise turns out to be beautiful and awesome. But afler all I did no t know thaI th is was \0 be UlC manner of praise, and in ignorance I came to an agreement with yOll tha t I would take my 111m in praising. 'So the lOngue promised bill the mind did not';" let me then call it quits. I am not a eulogist in this fashion: I am simply incapable of it. Not that I am IIn-

    B willing- on thc contrary I am willing- if you want, 10 tcll thc lrmh on my own tcrms, so long as my words arc not 10 bc compared wi th your ~peeches, lest I be laughed at. Decide, dlen, PhaL~rus, if you have any need for such a speech too, for hearing the truth being said about E ros, even though the phrasing and arrangement of the sentences jllSt fall as they come."

    He said that Phaedrus and the o thers urged Socra tes to speak in wha t-ever way he himself believed he had 10 speak.

    "Allow me fur ther, Phacdms," he said, " 10 ask Agathon abolll a few small points, in order tha t when I have got him 10 agree wi th me I can go ahcad and spcak:'

    c "Well, I allow it;' PhaL~ rus said. "Ask." Aftcr this he said tbat Socrates began from somewhat the following point.

    "Well, dear Agathon, in my opinion YOll made a fine start \0 your speech, in saying tha t one had 10 show first what son of being Eros him-

    ~clf is, and then his dceds. I very much admirc this beginning. So comc now, since you have explained fairly and magnificently all the rest about

    D what son he is, then tell me this as well abolll Eros: is Eros the sort that is love of something or of nothing? I am not asking whether he is of a mother or of a fa dler (for the ques tion whether Eros is love of mother or fa ther would be laughable), but just as if I asked about this very word, fathu- is thc fa thcr father of someone or nut? Yuu should duubtless tell me, if you wanted 10 givc a fair reply, tha t the fathe r is father of a son or daughter. Isn't that so?"

    "Or course," Agathon said. "And the same is lrue of the mother?" T his 100 was agreed llpon.

    ,~ _ E"'ipid~'S, Hippo/X""', 6,~: "The rons"e swo re. bm ,he mind did no,:





  • Symposium '9

    "Answer me juSt a li llie more,~ Socrates said, "so that you might come ~ to understand better what I want. Suppose I asked, 'What about this point? Is a brother, jllSt in terms of what he is, a brother of someone, or isn't he?'~ He answered that he is.

    ~And of a brother or a sis ter, figh t?" He agreed. "Do try, then," he said, " 10 tell abou t love as well. Is Eros love of

    nothing or something?" ~Of course he is of something.~ "Keep this fast in yom memory, this something of which you claim he ~OQ~ is,~ Socrates said, "bill now say only this much: that Eros tha t is the love of something, docs he desire this something or not;>"

    "Of course he docs," he said. "And is it when he has, or docs not have, tha t which he desires and

    loves, that he desires and loves it?" "It is at least likely II lal he does not have it," he said. "Think," Socrates said, "is it nOI a necessity rather Ihan a likelihood

    that the desirous thing desires whal it is in need of, and does not desire unless it is in need? For in my opinion, Agalilon, it is a marvelous neces- R si ty. What is your opinion?"

    "It 's my opinion [00," he said. "What you say is fair. Would anyone want to be tall ifhe were tall, or

    strong ifhe were strong?" "From what has bL"Cn agreed upon, Ihat would be impossible." "For he surely would not be in need oftllose things that he already is:' "What YOll say is tr1le." "So that ifhe wanted to be strong being strong," Socrates said, ~and

    swift being swift, and Ileal thy being healthy- I say this so that we may not deceive ourselves, for one might perhaps suppose wi th regard to these and all cases of this sort that those who arc of this son and have tllese things desire those things lhat they have- but if you have these c eases in mind, Aga thon, then who would desire eaeh of those 1I1ings that of necessity he has at the moment when, whether he wants to or nOt, he has it: For whenever anyone says, 'I am healthy and want to be healthy or I am wealthy and want to be wealthy, and I desire those very things that I have,' we should tell him, 'You, human being, possessing wealth, D health, and strength, want to possess IIlem also in the future , since at the present moment at least, whether you want to or not, you have them. Consider then. whenever you say, "I want the present things," if you mean anything else than, "I Want the things of the present moment to be

  • Symposium

    present also in futu re time.'" V:;rollid he agree 10 tilat?" Aristodemus said lila! Agaliton consemed.

    Socrates then said, ~To wam that those things be safe and present for him in fumre lime, is 10 love that which is not yet at hand for him and which he does not have."

    F. "Of cOllrse," he said. "So he and everyone else who desires what is not at hand desires what

    is not present; and what he docs not have and what he himself is not and what he is in need of- it is things like that of which desire and love

    . I '" are, ngll. "Of cOllrse," he said. "Come then," Socrates said. "Let us draw lip an agreement abolll what

    ilas been said . Eros is love, first of al1, of some things, and secondly, of whatever tilings the need for wilich is presem 10 ilim."

    20lA "Yes," he said. "Would YOIl now think back then to what YOIl asserted Eros 10 be of

    in your speech; but if YOIi wam, I shall remind YOIl. J believe YOll spoke somewhat along these lines- tha t ma llers were arranged by ule gods through love of beamiflll things, for there would not be love of ugly things. Weren't you speaking somewhat along these lines?"

    "1 said so," Agathon said . "And wilat you say is reasonable, comradC;' Socrates said . "And if this

    is so, Eros would be nothing else than love of beauty, bUl not of ugli-ness?" He agreed.

    B "Hasn't it been agreed that thai of which one is in need and does not have one loves?"

    "Yes," he sai d. "So Eros is in need of and does not have beauty:' "Of necessity;' he said. "What abom this? That which is in need of beauty and 111 no way

    possesses beauty, do you say tha t it is beau tiful?" "Certainly no\." "Do you still agree then that Eros is beallliful, if this is so?" And Agathon said, " It 's probable, Socrates, tha t I knew nothing of

    what I had said." c "And yet spoke you bealllifully, Agathon," he said. "8m, still, tell me

    abom a smal1 poim. Are tile good things beamiful as well in your opinion?"

  • Symposium l '

    "Yes., in mine." "So if Eros is in need ofuealilifulthings, and the good things are fair,

    he would ue in need of the good things as well." ~I, Socrates," he said, "would not ue aule 10 contradkt YOLl; so leI it

    ue as you say." "Not at all, my dear Aga thon. It is ra ther that you are unable 10 contra-

    dict the truth," he said, "since it is not at all hard 10 contradict Socrates. ~And I shall le t you go for now, and turn 10 the speech abOut Eros that D

    I once heard from a woman, Diotima ofMantineia. She was wise in these and many o ther things; when the Athenians once made a sacrifice before the plague, she caused the onset of the disease to be delayed ten years; and she is the very one who taught me eIOtics. T he speech tha t she was WOnt 10 make, I shall now try 10 tell you all on the basis of what has been agreed on uetween Agadlon and myself; and I shall try 10 do it on my own, as best I can. For just as you

  • Symposium

    " ~'Tben do not compel wbal is not bealilifullO be ugly, or wbat is not good , 10 be bad. So tOO sin.:e you yourself agree li tal Eros is nOI good or beauliful, do nOI al all believe that he must be ugly and bad,' she said, 'bm something belween the two of them.'

    ~'A n d yel.; I said, 'il is agreed on by all lila l. he is a grea t god .' ~'Do you mean by all who do nm know,' she said, 'or by those who

    know?' 'No, by al1lOgether:

    c ~And she said wi th a laugh, 'And how, Souates, could he be agreed 10 be a great god by those who deny even that he is a god?'

    ~ 'Who arc these?' I said. ~'You are one,' shc said, 'and I am one.' ~And I said, 'How can you say this?' I said . ~And she said, 'It 's easy. TeU me, don't you assert that aU gods arc

    happy and beautiful? Or would you dare 10 deny liw anyone of the gods is beau tiful and happy?'

    ' By Zeus, I would not,' I said. ~' Bll i don't you mean by the happy precisely those who possess the

    good things and the beamiful things?' ~' Of course.' ~'And do you hold 10 the agrccmcnl lilat Eros OU t of nccd for the good

    and beautiful thi ngs desires those very li lings of which he is in need?' ~'Yes, I bold to it.' ~' How then (;ould he who is wi thout a share in the beautiflll and good

    things be a god?' ' In no way, it seems.'

    ~' Do yOll see then,' sill' said, ' tha t you tOO hold tha t Eros is not a god ?' ~'Wha t would Eros then be?' I said. 'A mon aP' ~' Hardly that: ' Well, what then:'

    ~'Jus t as before; she said, 'between mortal and immortal: "'What is that, Diotima? '

    E "'A great dacmon, Socrates, for everything daemonic" is betwecn god and morral.'

    'I. Dam"",ic (dai'''''''ion ) is chllc, a nCutCr diminuti"c of daim

  • Symposium J3

    "' \Vit l! wllat kind of power?' I said. "' Interpreting and ferrying to gods things from human beings and to

    human beings things from gods: the reques ts and sacrifices of human beings, the orders and exchanges-for-sacrifices of gods; for it is in the middle of both and fills up the interval so Ulat the whole itse1fhas been bOllnd together by it. T hrough this proceeds all divination and the art of the priests who deal with sacrifices, ini tiatory ri tuals, incantations, 203A and every kind of soothsaying and magic. A god docs not mingle wi th a llllman being; bllt ulrollgh this occurs the whole in tercourse and con-versation of gods wi th human beings while they are awake and asleep. And he who is wise in things like this is a daemonic man; bil l he who is wise in anything c1se concerning ei ther arts or handicrafts is vulgar and low. T hese daemons arc many and of all kind s; and one of ulem is Eros.'

    "' W ho is his father?' I said, 'And who is his mother?' ~' I t is ra ther long,' she said, 'to explain; bill I shall tell you all the same. B

    When Aphrodite was horn, all tile o ther gods as well as Poros [Resou rce] the son of Metis fTntelligenccl were at a feas t;'" and when they had dined, Penia [Povertyl arrived to beg for something- as might be expected at a fes tivity- and she hung abollt ncar the door. T hen Poros got drunk on nectar- for there was not yet wine- and, heavy of head, went into the garden of Zeus and slept. T hen Penia, who because of her own lack of resources was plotting to Ilave a child made oUi of Porus, reclined beside him and conceived Eros. It is for this reason that Eros has been the allen- c dant and servan t of Aphrodite, as he was conceived on her birthday; for he is by na tl lre a lover in regard to tile beau ti ftll, and Aphrodi te is beau ti-ful. So because Eros is die son ofPoros and Penia, his situation is in some such case as this. First of all, he is always poor; and he is far from being tender and beallliful, as the many believe, blll is tough, squalid , shoe1ess, D and homeless, always lying on the groll nd wi thout a blanket or a bed, sleeping in doorways and along waysides in ule open air; he has the na-tII re of his mother, always dwelling with neediness. Bllt in accordance wi th his fa ther he plots 10 trap the beautiful and thc good, and is cou rageous,

    ,6. MeTis is 1I.e firSI g"d~ e>s h~lS m.rries af,er ,he wa~ .m"ng Ihe gods are "vcr. He is warned in timc not TO allow I,er d,;1d A,hena to be horn. lcst Athcna', cI,;]clren ovcn]"ow him; he swallows Melis. and Alhena is la,e r hom from die head of Zeus (sec Hesiod , Thtog-"")', 886-

  • Symposium

    ~tout, and keen, a ~killed IlIlmer, alway~ weaving devices., desirou~ of practical wisdom and inventive, philosophizing through all his life, a

    E skilled magician, druggist, sophist. And his nalllfC is neither immortal nor monal; bu t sometimes on the same day lie flo urishes and lives, when-ever he has resources; and sometimes he dies, bill gelS to live again through lhe namre nfhis father. And as that which is supplied to him is always gradually flowing uut, Eros is ncver ei ther wi thout resuurces nor wealthy, bUl is in between wisdom and lack of unders tanding. For here !04~ is the way it is: No one of the gods philosophizes and desires to become

    wise- for he if so- nor if there is anyone else who is wise, does he philosophize. Nor, in 111m, du those who lack understanding philosophize and desire to become wise; for it is precisely this that makes the lack of understanding so diflicul t- tha t if a man is not beautiful and good, nor intelligent, he has the opinion tha t lhal is sufIi(.;ent for him. ConsL"

  • Symposium II

    dearly expressed as follows: He who loves the beautiful things loves-what does he love?'

    ~And I said, 'T hat they he his.' ~'Blit the answer,' she said, 'still longs for the following sort of ques-

    tion: wha t will he have who gets the beallliful things?' "I said that I was hardly capable of giving a ready answer to this

    guesl!on. ~'Well,' she said. 'What if someone changed his query and llsed the E

    good instead of ule beallliful? Come, SocratC5, the lover of the good things loves: what docs he love?'

    "'That they be his,' I said. "'And what will he who gets the good things have?' "'T his,' 1 said, ' I can answer more adequately: he will be happy.' "'T Il at,' she said, 'is b .. :cause the happy are happy by dIe acquisition of ZOjA

    good things; and there is no further need \0 ask, "For what ,--onsequence does he who wants \0 be happy want to be so?" But the answer is thought 10 be a complete one.'

    "'Wha t you say is tme,' I said. "'This wanting and this eros, do you su ppose they are common to all

    human beings, and all want the good things to be theirs always, or how do you mean it?'

    "'T hat way,' 1 said . 'T hey arc common to all.' "'\Vhy is it, dlen, Socrates,' she said, 'that we deny that everyone

    loves- given, that is, that everyone loves the same things and always- " but we say that some love and some do not?'

    ~' I IO~' I said, 'am amazed.' "'\Vell,' she said, 'don't persist in your amazement; for we detach from

    eros a certain kind of eros and give it the name eros, imposing upon it the name of the whole; while in the other cases we employ several different names:

    "'Wha t arc those?' [ said . "'Like the following: You know that "making" has a wide range; for,

    yuu sec, every kind of making is responsible fur anything whatsoever that is on the way from what is not to what is. And dillS all the produc- c tions dlat arc dependent on the arts arc makings, and all the craftsmen engaged in them arc makers:

    "' \Vhat you say is true.' ~' B1tl nevertheless,' she said, 'YOII know that not all craftsmen are

  • ,6 Symposium called makers hilt have o tlier names; and one part is separated off from all of making- that which is (."()m:emed wilh music and melen- and is addressed by the name of the whole. For this alone is called poetry; and those who have this pan of making are poets:

    ~ '\Vha l yOIl say is true; [ said . D '''So ton in the case of eros. In brief, eros is the whole desire of good

    things and of being happy, " the greatest and all-beguiling cros.H But those who mrn loward it in many other ways, in terms of either moncy-making, love of gymnastics, or philosophy, are nei ther said to love nor called lov-ers; whereas those who earnestly apply themselves 10 a certain single kind, get the name of the whole, love, and arc said to love and called lovers.'

    ~'Wha l you say is probably [rue,' I said . ~'And tilere is a (:erwin accoum,' sile said, 'according to whicil tilose

    E who seek their own halves arc lovers. But my speedt denies that eros is o f a half or of a whole- llnless, cOlluade, that hal f or whole ean be pre-sumed to be really good; for human beings are willing to Ilave their own fee t and hands ellt off, if the ir opinion is tha t their own are no good . For I suspect that each does no t eleave to his own (unless one calls the good one's own and belongi ng to oneself, and the bad alien to uneself) since

    l06A there is nothing tha t human beings love other than the good . Or is it your opinion tha t they do?'

    ~'No, by ZeuS; I said, ' tha t is no t my opinio n.' ~'Then; she said, 'is it to be said unqualifiedly tha t iluman beings love

    the good?' 'v ' I d tes, sal.

    ~' \Vha t about this? Mustn't it be added,' she said, ' tilat tiley love ti le good to be theirs?'

    ~'It must be added.' 'And not only tha t it be theirs,' she said, 'but always as well?'

    ~ 'This too Illus t be added .' "'So, in SUIll,' she sai d, ' eros is of the good's being nne's own always.' " 'What you say is most true,' I said .

    B " 'Since eros is always this,' she said, 'then in what manner and in what activi ty would the earnestness and intensity of those who pursue the good be called eros. W hat in fact arc they doing when they act so? C an you tell?'

    ~' lfI could, Diotima, then I should not, you know, in admiration of your wisdom,' I said, 'reson to YOIl to learn this very thing:

  • Symposium

    "'\Vell, I shall tell you,' she said. 'T heir deL~ is bringing to birth In bea\lly both in terms of the body and in terms of li te souL'

    ~'Whatever it is that you mean,' I said, 'is in need of di vination, and I do not begin 10 understand.'

    ~'Well, I shall speak more dearly,' she said. "All human beings, Socra-

  • )8 Symposium

    " of an erotic disposilion, first concerning aClIIai imcrcoursc wi lh one an-other, then later con.:crning the nunurc of what is generated. And they are ready to fight to the finish, the weakest against the strongest, for the sake of those they have generated, and to die on their behalf; and tlley are willingly racked by starvation and SlOp at nothing 10 nourish their offspring. One migh t suppose,' she said, ' that human beings do this from

    c calculation; but as for the beasts, what is the calise of their erotic disposi-tion's being of this sort? Can you say?'

    ~And I again said that [ did not know; and she said, 'Do you really think YOll will ever become skilled in ero lics, if YOll do nOt understand this:'

    "' But you sec, Diotima, that is the reason- as I said just now- why I have come 10 you: I know I am in nL"Cd of teachers. But do tell me the cause of these things as well as of the rest that concern erotics.'

    ~' I f you put your tnlSt,' she said, 'in the statement that by nature eros is of that which we have often agreed to, don't persist in your amazement.

    o For in the eros of the beast~ in terms of the same argument as that con-cerning men, the mortal nal1lre seeks as far as possible to be forever and immortal. Monal nature is capable of immorlE hair, Aesh, bones, blood, and his whole body. And this is so nOt only in terms of the body bl1l also in terms of ule soul: his ways, character, opin-ions, desires, pleasures, pains, fears, each of these things is never present as the same for each, b1ll they are partly coming 10 be and partly per-ishing. A nd what is far Stranger still is tha t in the case of 011 r sciences 100 !OS~ not only are some coming to be while o thers are perishing (and we are

    never the same in terms of the sciences ei ther); bu t also each single one uf the sciences is affected in the same way. For studying, as it is called, is done on the grounds that the seience is passing ou t from us; for forgetful-ness is the exiting of science; and studying, by instilling a fresh memory again to replace the departing one, preserves tile science, so that it may be thought 10 be the same. For in this way every moTtal thing is pre-served; not by being absolutely the same forever, as the divine is. bUl by

  • Symposium )9

    the fact tha t tha t which is dcparting and growing old leaves behind an- 8 other young thing that is as it was. By this device, Socrates,' she said, 'the mortal shares in immortali ty, both body and all the res t; blltthe immortal has a differen t way. So do not be amazed if everything Iionors by nalllre its own offshoot; for it is for the sake of immortali ty that this zeal and eros atlend everything.'

    "And when I had heard her speech I was amazed and said, 'Really!' I said. 'Wisest Diotima, is it truly like this?'

    "And she, like the perfect sophis t~ said, ' Know it well, Socra tes,' she c said, 'inasmuch as in the case of human being~ if you were willing to glance at their love of honor, you would be amazed at their irrationaliry unlcss you unders tand what I have said and reflect how uncanny their disposition is made by their love of renown, "and their seu ing up immor-lal fame for et erni ty~; and for the sake of fame even more than for their children, they are ready to run all ris~ 10 exhaust their money, to toil at D every son of toil, aod to die. For do you suppose,' she said, 'that Alcestis would have died for Admems' sake, or Achilles would have died after Patroclu s, or your own Codms would have died before his sons for the sake of their kingship, if they had not believed that there would be an immortal remembering of their virtue, which we now retain: Far from it,' she said, 'but I believe that all do all things for the sake of immortal virtue and a famous reputation of that SOrt; and the better they are, so much the more is it tlIIIS; for tll{.1' love the immortal. Now there are those ~ who are pregnant in terms of their bodies,' she said, 'and they mrn rather to women and arc erotic in this way, furnishing for themselves through tile procreation of children immort.ali ty, remembrance, and happiness (as they believe) for all fmure ti me. But there are others who are pregnant in terms of the soul- for these, in fact,' she said, 'are those who in their ~"9A souls even more than in their bodies conceive those things that it is ap-propriate for soul to conceive and bear. And what is appropriate (or sou]? Prudence and the rest of virtue; it is of these tllings that all the poets and all the craftsmen who are said to be inventive are procreators; and by far the greatest and most beaUliful part of prudence,' she said, 'is the arrang-ing and ordering of the affairs of cities and houscholds. Its name is mod-eration and justice. So whenever someone from youth onward is preg-nant in his soul witll these virtues, ifhe is divine and of suitable age, tl len 8 he desirt.>s to give birth and produce offspring. And he goes round in search, I believe, of the beautiful in which he might generate; for he will

  • Symposium

    never generate in the ugly. So it is beautiful bodies rather than ugly ones 10 which he cleaves bt."(;ause he is pregnant; and if he meets a beautiflll, generous, and natmally gifted soul, he eleaves strongly 10 the two (body and soul) IOgether. And to this human being lie is at once fluent in

    c speeches abOIll virme- of what sort the good man mlls t be and what he must practice- and he tries to educate him. So in touching the one who is beaut iful, I suspect, and in associa tion wi th him, hc cngenders and gives birth to offspring wi th which he was long pregnant; and whether the [loverl is present or absent he holds the beallliful one in memory, and nurtures with him that which has been generated in common. Therefore, those of this sort maintain a greater associa tion and firmer friendshi p wi th one another than do those who have dlildren in common, because the dli ldren they share in common are more beautiful and more immortal. And everyone would chOO'Se 10 have for himself dlildren like these rather

    D than the human kind; and if one looks at Homer, Hesiod, and the other good poets, one envies them: what offspring of themselves they have left behind! For as these offspring arc in their own right immortal, tlley supply the poets wi th immortal fame and memory. And if yOll want,' she said, ' think nf the children tha t LYCll rgus left behind in Sparta, the pre-servers of Sparta and, to exaggerate a lillie, of Greece. Solon too is hon-ored among you through his engendering of the laws; and o ther men as

    E well in many o ther regions, among Greeks and among barbarians, by their showing fonh of many beautiful deeds, have engendered every kind of virtue. It is 10 tlwse that many sanctuaries are now dedkated through children of this kind; while through the human son there are no sanctuar-ies for anyone yet.

    ~'Now perhaps, Socrates., you tOO migln be initiated into tiles

  • Symposium

    [erorie] intensi ty for only one body, in the belief that it is petty. After this he must believe tha t the beatHy in souls is more honorable than that in the body. So that even if someone who is decent in his soul has only a sligh t youthful charm, tlte lover must be content with it, and love and c cherish him, and engender and seek snch speeches as wi11make the young beller; in order 1ha1 [the lover}, on his part , may be compelled to behold the beauti ful in pursuits and laws, and to sec that all this is akin to itself, so that he may come to believe that the beauty of the body is something trivial. And after these purSllit~ he mllst lead [the beloved] on to the sciences, so that he plimself, the loverl may see the beauty of sciences, and in looking at the beauti ful , whieh is now so vast, no longer be eontent D likc a lackey wi th the beamy in one, of a boy, of some human being, or of one practice, nor be a sorry SOrt of slave and petty calculator;but with a permanent tmn to the vast open sea of tile beautiful, bcllold it and give birth- in ungrudging philosophy- to many beautiful and magnificent speeches and thoughts; lInril, there strengthened and increased, he may discern a certain single philosophical science, which has as its object the following sort of beauty. Try to pay as close allention as you can,' she F. said. 'Whoever has been educated up to this point in erotics, beholding successively and correctly the beautiful things, in nuw guing to the per-fect end of eroties shall suddenly glimpse something wonderfully beauti-ful in its nature- that very tiling, Socrates, for whose sake alone all the prior labors were undertaken- something that is, first of all , always be- 211A ing and nei ther wming to be nor perishing, nor increasing nor passing away; and secondly, nO! beamiftll in one respect and ugly in another, nor at one time so, and at anotller time not- ei ther wi th respe

  • .' Symposium lK-ginning from ti lese beautiful things here, always to proceed on u p for the sake of liJal bcaUlY, using these beautiful things here as sleps; from one to tWO, and from two to all bealltiful bodies; and from beautiful bod-ies \0 beau tiful pursuits; and from pursui ts to beau ti fllllcssons; and from lessons 10 end al thal lesson, which is the lesson of nothing else than the beautiful itself; and at last to know what is beamy itself. It is at this place

    D in life, in beholding the beautiful itself, my dear Socrates,' the Mantincan stranger said, 'that it is worth living, if- for a human being- it is rworth living] at any place. Should yOll ever see the heautiful itself, it will be YOUT opinion that it is nOt to be compared 10 gold and garments and the beautiful boys and youths at whose sight you arc now dmnderstmek. And you and many odH~rs arc prepared, in seeing the beloved and in always being with him, neither to eat nor drink, if it were somehow pos-sible, but only to behold him and be widl him . Wltat dlen,' she said, 'do

    E we believe happens to one, if he gets to see the beautiful itself, pure, dean, unmixed , and not infected with human flesh, colors. or a lot of otller mortal foolishness, and can glimpse the divine beautiful itself as being of a single sh ape? D o you believe; she said , ' tha t life would prove ~'!A to be a sorry sort of thing, when a human being gazes in the direction of

    the beautiful and beholds it wi th the instrument wi th which he must and is together wi th it? Or don't you realize,' she said, ' that only here, in seeing in the way the beautiful is seeable, will he get to engender not phantom images of virtue- because he dOL'S not lay hold of a phantom-but true, because he lays hold of the tme; and thai once he has given birth to and cherished (TIte viTllle, it lies within him to become dear to god and, if it is possible for any human being, to become immortal as we1l?'

    " ~ H ere, Pllaedrus and yott othcrs., is what O iotima deelared and what J am convinced of. And in this stale of conviction, I tTy to persuade others that for this possessi on one could not easily get a better co-worker wi th human namre than Eros. Accordingly, I assert that every real man must honor Eros, as I myself honor erotics and train myself exceptionally in them; and I urge it on the res t, and now and always I eulogize the power and courage o f Eros as far as I am able. Regard this speech, then, Phae-

    c drus, if you want to, as spoken in eulogy of Eros; bill if not, and your pleasl1Te is to give it some other kind of name, so name it."

    \Vhen Socrates had said this, some praised it; and ArislOphanes tried to say something, because Socrates in speaking had mentioned him and referred to his speech. 8111 suddenly a hammering on the courtyard door

  • Symposium

    made a lot of noise- revclers they thought- and II ley heard the sound of a Allie gir1. T hen Agathon said, ~ Boy~ go look. And if it is anyone of D our close friends, invite him in; bm if not, say that we are not drinking bm have already slOpped."

    NOl much la ler they heard the voice of Aldbiades in the courtyard, very drunk and shou ling loudly, asking where Agatllon was and com-manding them 10 lead him 10 Agathon . T hen the Aute girl who- w -gether with some o ther of his attendants- supported him and led him before them; and he stood allhe door, lhickly crowned with ivy and vio- F. le ts, wi lh many fillels on his head. And he said, "Men, hail ! Will you welcome a man who's lcrribly drunk as a fellow drinker? Or shall we go away just as soon as we have wrealhed Agathon, for which single purpose we have come? For I , you scC;' he said, ~could not come yesterday, but now I have w me with fillets on my head, so II I at from my own head I might wreatlte the head of the wisest and most beautiful - well! And if I shall say that, what then? Will you lallgh at me because 1 am drunk? B111 all the same, even if you do laugh, I know well that I am telling the truth. 2lj A Well, tell me on the S[>O l, shall 1 enter on the said conditions or notr Will you jnin me in drink or not?"

    T hen they all applauded loudly and asked him 10 enter and lie down; and Agathon summoned him . And he came led by his crealll res; and as he was taking off the fillets 10 do the crowning- he had had them before his eyes and so did not observe Socra tes- he sat down alongside Aga-thon, between him and SoaateS; for Socrates had made room for Aldbi- B ades when he saw him . On si tting down he embract.'

  • Symposium

    T ile love I ilave of this ilUman being lias proved quite bothersome. For o since the time that I first loved him, it is no longer possible for me 10 look

    at or converse wi th even one beauty; or else in jealousy and envy of me he does amazing thing~ and abuses me and hardly keeps his hands off me. Take care lest he do something now, and do reconcile us; or if he tries to use force , defend me, since I really (l" ake wi th fear at his madness and love of lovers."

    But," said Alcibiades, reconciliation between YOll and me is impos-sible. Well, I shall take my vengeance on yOIl for this at ano ther time;

    F. bllt now, Agathon,~ he said, "spare li S some of the fille l"> so that I may wreathe this amazing head of his; and he need not reproach me becausc I wreathed you, and not him; for he conquers all human beings in speeches, and not just the day before yesterday as you did, bill at all

    times.~ And at once he took some of the fillets, wreathed Socrates, and lay down.

    And when he by down, he said, ~All right, men. In my opi nion YOll 're sober. T his cannot be allowed; you must d rink, for we have agreed to it. And I choose as leader of the drinking- until you have dnmk enollgh-myself. But le t someone do the fetching, Agathon, if there is any large beaker. But there is no need really; just bring that wine couler there, boy;'

    ''4A he said, as he saw that it had a capacity of more than eight pints. Once ile saw that it gOt filled he was the first to drink it 01I; and then, as he asked tilat it be pourL-ci for Socrates., he said, ~ It is no sopilistic stratagem of mine against Socrate~ men; for as much as one asks him 10, so mIlch he drinks o II wi tholl t any risk of gett ing more drunk."

    T hen the boy poured and Socrates drank. And Eryximaclms said, " ~ Wlla t arc we to do, Aldbiades? Is this to be ou r way, to say nothing at

    all over our Ll.IPS, nor sing any tiling, but simply to drink like the thirsty?" T hen Akibiades said, "Eryximaclms, best son of the best and most

    moderate father, haiW "You too," Eryximac1ms said. "Bu t what shall we do?" "Whatever you order. For we mllst obey YOII -

    'For a physician is worth the equ ivalelll of many olhers.'''

    Prescribe wlta t you wam.~

    ,8. Horner,ll;ad, 11 -)'4.

  • Symposium

    "Listen then," Eryximadllls said. "It was OIU resolu tion before you entert.-d thaI ea

  • Symposium

    ~culptors., tile ones that craftsmen make holding reed pipes or flutes; and if they arc spli t in f WO and opened up, they show that tlley have images of gods within. And I declare, in tmn, that he bears. a likeness to the satyr Marsyas. Now, that you arc like ulem at least in looks, Socrates, surely not even you would dispute; and as for your likeness to Ulem in o ther respects, just lis ten 10 what I have 10 say. You are hybristic, are you not? For if you do not agree, I shall get witnesses. \Vell, aren't you a flute player? YOIi are far more marvelous, to be sure, than Marsyas. He used

    e 10 charm human beings by means of instmmenlS, wi th the power from his mouul , as anyone still does today who plays his flute songs. For I ascribe to Marsyas as what Olympus fluted since l\brsy-ds had taugh t him; so that the songs of Olympus, whether a good flutist or a sorry SOrt of flute girl sllould play them, are the only ones- because they arc divine-tllat cause possession and rL'Veal tllose who are in need of the gods and ini tiatory rituals. And you differ from him only in that you do the same thing wi th bare words wi thout instrumen ts. \Ve, at any rate, whenever

    D we Ilear the speeches of anyone else- no mailer how good a speaker he i,- just abou t no one gets concerned . Bil l whenever anyone of us hears you or another speaking yom speeches, even if the speaker is very poor, regardless of whether a woman, man, or lad hears them, we arc thunder-stmck and possessed. I, at any rate, men, were I not going to be uiOuglu lHlerly drunk, should tell you on oa th exactly how his speeches have

    affecK'd me, and still do to this very day. For wllenevcr I 1i~ten, my hea rt jumps fa r more than the Corybams', and tears pour Out under the power of his speeches; and I see that they affect many many others in the same way. When I heard Pericles and other good speakers, I thought tlley ~poke well, bl1l they could not affect me in any way like that, nor did my soul grow tToubled and bewme disuessed at my slavish condi tion. But I had so often been pllt in this state by this Marsyas you see before you that

    2t6A I came to tile opinion that it was not worth living in the way I am. Now, Socra tes, yOIl will not say that Ulis is not true. A nd even now I know wi Ulin myself that were I willing 10 lend my ears, I should nOt be capable of holding out but should be affected in the same way. For he compels me to agree tha t, though I am sti ll in need of mudl myself, I neglect

    bu, no,loing is known of],;s wisdom excel" ,loa, he said ,loa, it was bellcr no, '0 be bont. He w~s aswcialcd !in

  • Symposium

    myself and handle instead the affairs of tile Atheniam. So it was by main for

  • Symposium

    was not in the habit ofbcing alone wi th him wililout an attendant, I then B SCnt the attendant away and was alone with him. (For the whole truth

    must be IOld you, but pay auen tion, and if I lie, Socrates, tTy and refute me.) So I was alone wi th him alone, men; and J believed he would con-verse wi th me at once in jusl Iile way a lover would converse wi iii his beloved in isolation, and ( rejoiced. Sm exactly nO lhing of the sort hap-pened; bill just as he uscd to du, he wuuld cunverse wi th me; and having spent the day with me he would take his leave. After this J challenged him

    C 10 join me in slri pping; and ( stripped along with him . Here, ( thought, I shall get my way. So he joined me in stripping and often wrestled wi th me when no une else was present. And whal need is there to say mure: I gOt no advantage from il at all . And when I made no headway in this manner, I resolved that the man must be set upon by force and nOI be released, since I was already commiw.:d 10 the altem pt, and now I ltad 10 find OUI what was really the mailer. I invited him then 10 join me at sup-per, simply as a lover plots against a beloved . And he did not qltickly

    D yield 10 me in this, but in ti me, at any ra te, he was persuaded. And when he eame for the firs t time, he wanted, once he had dined, 10 go away. And then out of shame I let him !,to; bill I renewed my ploltings once more. And this time when we had dined I kept on conversing far into the nigh t; and when he wanted 10 go away, I pretendL-d that it was 100 la te and compelled him 10 remain. 50 he took his res t in the bed next 10 me on which he had dined ; and no one else slept in tile room but ourselves.

    E Now, what I have !>aid up 10 this point in my speedt Lxmld properly be IOld 10 anyone at alL And you would not hear any more fr om me than this were it not tha t, first of all, as the saying goes, wine- with boys and wi thom boys- is tnllhfld, and in d ie sl..~ond place, tha t it is patently unjust for me, on(;e I have (;Dme 10 the point of praising 50(;fates, 10 keep hidden his magnificently overweening deed . Furthennore, the aflliction of a victim of the viper's bi te is also mine. For they say, as you know, that anyone who has been so afflicted is unwilling 10 speak of what sorl of thing it is except to those who themselves have been bi llen, since they

    2,SA alone will recognize it and pardon him if his pain brough t him 10 the poin t of doing and !>aying anything. Take me, for instance. I was bitten by a more painful viper in the place d la t is most liable 10 pain- the heart o r soul or whatever name it must baw- bitten and struck by philosophi-cal spcedtes, whicb grip in a more savage way than the viper, whenever they get a hold on a young soul that is not ill-favored by nalllre, and

  • Symposium

    make it do and say anything whatsoever- and seeing in turn PhaL~ruses., Agathons, Eryximadmses., Pausaniases, ArislOdemuses, as well as Aris- B tophaneses .. . and what need is there to speak of Socrates and all the others? You all have shared in the philosophic madness and bacchic frenzy- so accordingly yOIl all will hear; for you will pardon the things then done and now said . Bm you hOllse servants- and if there is anyone else whu is profane and mstic- plll largc gates over you r cars.

    ~So, men, when ute lamp was extinguished and the boys were olllside, c I resolved tha t I should in no way complica te the isslle before him, bll t freely speak what were my opinions. And I nlldged him and said, 'Socra-tes, arc you asleep?' 'Ccrtainly nut,' he said. 'Do you know then what I havc resolvcd?' 'What in particular?' hc said . 'You, in my opinion,' I said, 'have proved 10 be the only deserving lover of mine; and it seems 10 me that you hesi tate 10 mention it 10 me. Now I am in this state: I believe it is very foolish not 10 gralify you in th is or anything else of mine- my wealth or my friends- that you need; for nothing is more important 10 D me than that I become the best possible; and J believe that, as far as J am concerned , there is no one more competent than you 10 be a fellow helper 10 me in this. So I should be far more ashamed before men of good sense for nOl gratifying a man like you than J should bc before the many and senseless for gratifying you.'

    "And when he heard this, he said very ironically, and exactly as he is, and in his usual fashion, 'Really, my dear Alcibiades, you're no sucker if what you say abom me is really tme and there is some power in me E through which you could become better. YOII mllst sec, you know, an impossible beauty in me, a beauty very differen t from tIle fairness of form in YOllfself. So if, in observing my beaUlY, yOIl are trying 10 get a silare in it and 10 exchange heamy for beauty, you are intending 10 get far the beller deal. For you arc Irying 10 acqllire the m uh of beaUlifit! th ings in exchange for the seeming and opinion ofbealllifulthings; and yOIl really have in mind to exchange "gold for bronze." lQ But, blessed one, ~'9~ do consider beller: Wi thom your being aware of it- I may be no thing. Thought, you know, begins to have kcen eyesight when the sigh t of the eyes starts 10 dc.:line from its peak; and you arc still far from that.'

    "And I heard this, and said, 'T his is the way mailers stand on my side- not one of my words has been said in a way different from what I

    10. Homer, Iliad, 6.1)6.

  • ,0 Symposium think; but yOll yourself take WllUlcvcr counsel yOIl believe 10 he liesl for yourself and me.'

    ~'Well: he said, 'what YOli say is good; for in the fumre, after delibcr-Bating, we shall do whatever looks best \0 liS tWO concerning these things

    :and the rest.' "$0 I, when I had heard and said these things, and had shot my darts

    as it were, thought he had been wounded . And J got lip, and did nOI allow him to speak any more, bu t wrapped my man de around him- for it was winter- and lay down under his blanket; and [ threw my arms arOllnd

    c this tfuly daemonic and amazing being, and lay down beside him the whole night. And nO I even in this, Socrates, will YOll say thai I lie. But when I had done th is, he so far prcvaik-d over me and despised and laughed at my youthful beauty and committed an outrage agains t it (and in tlJat regard I believed I was something special, men of the jury- for you are the judges of Socrates' arrogance) , .. for know well, by the gods, by the goddesses, tha t though I slept the night through with Socrates I

    D gOt up withom anything more untoward Ilaving Ilappened than would have been ule case if I had slept wiul my father or elder brother.

    "So after this, wha t nOlion do you su ppose I had? I believed I had been dishonored, and yet I still admired his namre, moderation, and courage; I had met a human being whose prudence and endurance were such as I believed I should never eneoumer. ConsL"

  • Symposium , ,

    this. And again, in regard to re~i~tance against li le winter- for winters are terrible there- all the rest that he did was amazing. And once when the frost was the most terrible imaginable, and no one went ollidoors (or B if any did go 011 1, they wrapped Ihemselves in an amazing number of garments and put on shoes and Lied up their fee t in fel t and sheepskins), he went Ollt among them with the same SOrt of mantle as he wore at any time, and wi thout shoes he mardled through the ice more easily than the others did shod ; and lile soldiers looked askance at him as if he were despising them. And tha t is the way things were. c

    '''What sort of thing the strong man did and dared '" there on cam-paign once, is worth hearing. Once, he had gOllen a thought, and he slOod on the same spot from dawn on, considering it; and when he made no progres~ he did not let up bill stood searching. And it was already noon, and the men became aware of it; and in amazement one ~aid to another tilat Socrates ilad stood there in rdk'Ction since dawn. And finally some ionians, when it was evening and they had dined-for it was then summer- brought out Iheir pallets and slept in the cold and watched 10 D see if he would also stand during the nigh t. And he stood unLi I it was dawn and the sun came up; and then having made a prayer to the sun he went away. And in combat, if YOIl want 10 hear about iI- for it is just to credit him with this- once when there was a battle for which the gener-als gave me the prize of excellence, no oliler human being saved me bill ~ he; for he wa~ not willing 10 leave me wounded, bill saved both myself and my weapons. And I even then, Socrates, asked the gt.'t1erais 10 offer you the prize of excellence. And in this tOO you will not blame me and say Ulat I lie; bill as a matter offact, when the generals looked 10 my rank and wanted to offer me the prize of excellence, you proved more eager than the generals that I take it rather than yourself. Furthermore, men, it was worthwhile 10 behold Socrates when the army relTeated in ~igln U1 A from Dcliu m; for i happened 10 be there on horseback and he was a hoplite. T he soldiers were then in rOll t, and while he and Laches were retreating IOgether, I came upon them by chance. And as soon as I saw them, J at once urged the two of them to take hean, and I said I would not leave them behind. J had an even finer opporlllni ty 10 observe Socra-tes there than I had had at Potidaea, for I was less in fear because I was on horseback. First of all, how milch more sensible lie was than Lache~; 8

    II. Homer. OdyJI

  • I' Symposium

    and secondly, it was my opinion, Aristophanes (and this point is yours); t1w walking there juSt as he does here in Athens, 'stalking like a pelican, his eyes d~lTt ing from side to side,' " quietly on the lookollt for friends and foes, he made it plain 10 everyone even at a great distance that if one tollches this real man, he will defend himself vigorously. Consc([llcnLiy, he went away safely, both he and his comrade; for when YOIl behave in war as he did, then they jus t about do nut even lOudl YOll; instead they

    c pursue those who turn in headlong Right. ~Now, one could praise Socrates for many other amazing things; bllt

    whereas for the rest of his pursui ts- one migh t perhaps say the like about someone else as well - what deserves all wonder is tha t respect in which he is like no human being, nei ther the ancients nor those of the present day. For one might liken Brasidas and o thers to such a one as Achilles was; and, in turn, liken ti le son tlmt Pericles was to both Nestor and Antenor (and there are otllers as well); and of the rest one might

    D make likenesses in the same way. But the son that this Illiman being in his strangeness proved to be, both in himself and in his speeches, one cOli ld not even come close to finding, whether one looked among the men of today or among the ancients; unless, after all , one were to liken him in himself and in his speeches to those J say- to no human being but to silenuses and satyrs.

    ~And wha t is more, I omitted to say at tile beginning tllat his speeches tOO arc most like the silenusL""S when opened up. For were one willing to

    E hear Socrates' speeches, they would at first look altogether laughable. T he words and phrases that they wrap around themselves on the outside arc like tha t, the very hide of a hybristic satyrY For he talks of pack-asses, blacksmiths, shoemakers, and tanners, and il looks as inc is always saying the same things through the same things; and hence every inL'XpL'-

    UIA rienced and foolish human being would laugh at his speeches. But if one sees them opened up and gels oneself inside them, one will find , firs t, tha t Ihey alone of speeches have sense inside; and, second, tha t they are most divine and have the larges t number of images of virtue in Ihem; and tha t Ihey apply to the larges t area, indeed to the whole area tha t it is p roper to examine for one who is going to be beautiful and good.

    ~Here, men, is what I praise Socrates for; and J mixed in with il what,

    u . A,islophancs. C/o""', 161. II. An .n",ion 10 Ihe flaying of Marsya, by Apollo.

  • Symposium 13

    in turn, I blame him for, when I told you how he eommiw.:d an outrage against me. And what is more, he not only did this to me, but to Cilaf- B mides the son of Glallcon, ElIIhydemlis the son of Diodes, and many many o thers- for while deceiving them into thinking of him as the lover, he brings il abOllt that he is the beloved rather than tile lover. Ii is this that I am telling you, Agathon. Do nOt be deceived by him; bu t wi th the knowledge of uur afllictions be un your guard, and do not, as in the pruv-er4 like a fool realize il after you have suffered.~

    When Alcibiades said this, there was laugh ter at his outsrokenness c because it was thnuglu that he was still erotically inclined toward Socra-tcs. T hen Socrates said, "You arc sober, in my opinion, Alcibiades, for otherwise you would never have so elegantly cast a screen aboUl yourself and tried to conceal why you said all tllis; for you spoke of it as if it were a side-isslle hy inserting il at the end , as " lough you had not sai d every-thing for its sake- to sel Agathon and me al odds, helieving that I must D love YOll and no one else, and that Agalhon must be loved by you and by no one else. But YOIl did not get away with it; this satyr and silenk drama of youTS was quile obvious. Well, my dear Aga thon, see thai he does not get the advantage- and prepare yourself agains t anyone selli ng you and me at odds."

    T hen Agalhon said, "Why, Socrates, I am afraid that what you say is true. My evidence is the fact that he lay down between you and me so ~ thai he may hold lIS apart. Well, he will not gel the advantage, hm I shall come and lie down heside yOlI:'

    "Yes," Socrates said, "do come lie down in the place heside me." ~Zells! ~ Alcibiades said. "What the feH ow docs 10 me! He believes he

    must ~urpass me everywhere. Well, if nothing ehe, you wondrou~ heing, le t Agathon lie down berween us:'

    "Bm that is impossible," Socrates said. "For YOll praised me, and I in mrn must praise the one on the right; surely if Agathon lies down next 10 you, he will no t praise me again , will he, before he has been praised by me? Bm leave it as it is, daemonic being, and do not begrudge Ihe n,A lad's being eulogized by me, for I want very much to sing his praises."

    "Now I get ii , Alcibiades;' AgadlOn said. " It is impossible for me to remain here; and I shall nOI fail to change my place so that I may be praisL-ci by Socrates.~

    "This is the uSllal thing," Aldbiades said. "WhL't1 Socrates is present it is impossible for someone else to get hold of the bealllies, JUSt as now

  • Symposium

    yOIl sec Ilow resourcefully he has found a per~lI aSlve argument to get Agalhon to lie down ueside him."

    B Now Agathon gOt lip 10 lie down ueside Socrates; bitt suddenly a large crowd of revelers came 10 the door; and finding it open- someone had gone ou t- they walked straight in among the guests and lay down . And everything was full of commotion, and everybody was compelled- bll t no longer with any urder- to drink a great deal of wine. Nuw Aris tode-mus said Utat Eryximachus, Phaedrus, and some o thers went away, bu t

    c he himself was overtaken by sleep.. And he slept very deeply, because the nigh t was far gone and the cocks were already singing when he woke toward daybreak. And un awakening he saw that the rest were sleeping or had gone away; bill Agathon, Aristophanes, and Socrates were the only ones who were still awake, and they were drinking from a large cup, passing it fr om left to right. Socrate~ was conversing wi th dll.:m. And

    D Aristodemus said, he did not n.'memuer the o ther points of the speel:bes-for he was not only absent at the stan, but was dozing- however. the chief poim, he said, was tha t Socrates was compelling tltem 10 agree that the same man should know how to make comedy and tragedy; and that he who is by art a tragic poet is also a comic poet. They were compelled to admit this, though they were not following too well and were nodding. Aristophanes went 10 sleep firs t, and then, when it was already day, Aga-thon . T hen Socrates, having pili diem to bcd, gOt lip and went away, and lie (Aristodemus) followed, jllSt as he was accustomed to; and Socrates went to the LycL'l.un, washed lip, and spent the rest of his day jllSt as he did at any other time. And once he had passed the time in this way, toward evening he look his rest al home.

    Text1: Plato