(855) 4-ESSAYS

Type a new keyword(s) and press Enter to search

Significance of Diotima Within Plato's Symposium

            Within Plato's Symposium, a series of six dialogues regarding the nature of Love are discussed at length. However, it is the very last dialogue – in which Socrates recalls his encounter with Diotima, a female philosopher and priestess – which stands out amongst them all. In an ironic twist, Diotima effectively uses the Socratic method on the very man himself – Socrates. In this roll, she becomes the truth-teller where he remains the ever-searching truth-seeker. Moreover, the interaction between Diotima and Socrates effectually turns the course of the discussion in a different direction; one that not only differs from its predecessors, but also ends in a momentous resolution for Socrates throughout his struggles in his pursuit of the truth. .
             One aspect that made the interaction with Diotima particularly profound is that it challenged the assumptions which were previously unquestioned by the men who came before her in the Symposium; that Love is a god, which pursues the often-imbalanced relationship between two lovers. This questioning strips the previously unchallenged arguments down to their bare bones to expose their fundamental miscalculations; and it is in this whittling that the course of the conversation changes – which also reflects the change in gender (male speaker, to female speaker). By having the text flow in this way, it becomes clear that Plato intended for Diotima and her speech to stand out. Moreover, the vernacular of Diotima's speech is oracular and her tone of voice sounds almost prophetic. This parallels that of the ancient Greek oracle deities, the majority of whom were female (i.e., Pythia, oracle of Apollo at Delphi, and Dione, oracle of Zeus at Epirus). .
             Additionally, Plato's inclusion of a female character was a perfect way to introduce opposition to the male-dominated absolutism of the Symposium. As the only female who contributed to the discussion in the Symposium, Diotima's femininity echoes one of her main points in direct criticism of the aforementioned absolutism; that conversing only in absolutes (i.

Essays Related to Significance of Diotima Within Plato's Symposium

Got a writing question? Ask our professional writer!
Submit My Question