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The Symposium: An Ascent of Beauty, Truth and Wisdom

            In Plato's "Symposium," the very influential speech by Diotima describes an ascent from loving particular kinds of beauty to loving Beauty itself. Diotima proves to be incredibly intelligent in the points she makes through her description of this ascent. Ultimately, it can be deduced that by being a lover of knowledge, one can in turn be a lover and seer of true Beauty.
             Throughout the Symposium, the audience hears many accounts from various intellectuals that have been invited to a special party. These great minds are Phadrus, Pausanias, Eryxamachus, Aristophanes, Agathon, Socrates, (Diotima) and Alcibiades. These philosophers talk about Eros (Love) and match their wits to see who can give a greater eulogy of Eros. Through these speeches, we hear different opinions as to where Eros is from, who his parents are, adjectives that describe his qualities, myths on why Eros exists, questions to why Eros exists and more symbolic stories. These stories all mention the themes of truth, beauty and wisdom; however there is only one account by Diotima through Socrates which brings them all together. This speech, famously known as "the ascent" ties all qualities of Eros together by going through stages. Stages from loving a particular body, to loving all bodies, to loving wisdom, from wisdom realizing particular beauties, to loving Beauty itself, thus finally attaining truth. .
             In Ancient Athens or Greece, if a young boy wanted to attain wisdom, he would begin an affair with an older man because the older man would be able to give him this knowledge. The older man would welcome this young boy and would be willing to teach him because the old man would appreciate the young boy's beauty and enjoy his sexual favors. Through this process, young boys are supposed to be educated, learning that all bodies are relatively similar and that it is foolish to love only one body in particular. Looking at the different forms of knowledge, he will become a lover of knowledge, loving all sorts of discourses and ideas until he finally settles on one special type of knowledge.

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