Love in Plato's Symposium and Homer's Iliad Essay

Pages: 4 (1262 words)  ·  Bibliography Sources: 2  ·  File: .docx  ·  Level: College Junior  ·  Topic: Literature  ·  Written: February 10, 2019

This speech concentrates mainly on the nature of love and its effects on two people. First, love is identified as a god, which gives it a lofty nature.

Love, the god, is, however, able to impact on human being love – the feeling, which is more like a gift by the god to humans, and this reverberates in many ways in the lives of lovers – those sharing erotic relationship e.g. between Alcestis and her husband, and beloved, those sharing other-than-erotic caring relationships. The next speech by Pausanias (Plato, 108c-185c), largely agrees with Phaedrus in love as a god but introduces heavenly and common love. Eryximachus and Aristophanes who are the next speakers also agree with Pausanias. In general, Symposium explores a wide variety of ideas of love, in the various speeches, but there is a noticeable failure in coming to a conclusion on the matter of love.

Erotic male and female love

In the Iliad, female characters with a significant role in the narrative and are not gods are Briseis and Helen. While Helen is Aphrodite’s pawn, Briseis is a mere trophy whose role is motivating the male characters into battle and mourning for them when they die. However, it is worth noting that, even though the number of female characters is significantly low as compared to that of male characters, the love these male characters have for them affects how the entire narrative unfolds.

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On the other hand, the second speaker in the Symposium is probably the best and most clear opinion in the type of love that exists between men and women. Heavenly love is the love that boys who have a beard and do not have a woman have. This type of love is differentiated with that which mature men have with men is that mature men have gained intelligence (Plato, 181d). It is noteworthy that, this type of love is considered to qualify only when it is consummated for a good purpose, both on earth and in heaven, and it is simply pure bliss.


Essay on Love in Plato's Symposium and Homer's Iliad Assignment

Love can best be described as an attachment and that which it attaches itself to prescribes the effects of love. in both The Iliad and Symposium, love is clearly evident as a result of the effects those involved manifest. However, the type of love seems to vary in both. In the Iliad, love is a powerful force that is able to motivate and inspire. The source/trigger for love are women, and this causes a major effect on the male characters.

Love in the Iliad has the power to cause men to go to battle or withdraw from battle, which is the primary them in the narrative – war and peace. On the other hand, in the Symposium, love takes a variety of types. However, all speakers agree that love is a god, and the other types seem to emanate from the love god. The most prominent type of love is that which is described by Pausanias, and it depicts love as a gift to humans by the gods and it is consummated with good intentions and its effects are bliss for the involved persons.


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How to Cite "Love in Plato's Symposium and Homer's Iliad" Essay in a Bibliography:

APA Style

Love in Plato's Symposium and Homer's Iliad.  (2019, February 10).  Retrieved January 16, 2021, from

MLA Format

"Love in Plato's Symposium and Homer's Iliad."  10 February 2019.  Web.  16 January 2021. <>.

Chicago Style

"Love in Plato's Symposium and Homer's Iliad."  February 10, 2019.  Accessed January 16, 2021.