In Plato's Symposium there are three major speeches given by Aristophanes, Socrates and Alcibiades, where each portrays a different aspect of human sexuality and love. Aristophanes" speech is a fantastic representation of humans that were separated into two halves engaged in desperate search for their other half, while Socrates" speech is a rhetoric of a conversation he was engaged in with the priestess Diotima, and finally Alcibiades" speech is a tribute to his teacher Socrates. .
Even though Aristophones" speech is a fantastical story that explained why humans are in constant, desperate search for our lost halves, it still captures the tragedy of human sexuality and love. The beings described within the story are characterized by their narcissistic nature, which results in their eventual demise. Aristophanes describes these beings as;.
They were round, and so was the way they moved, because they took after their parents. They were terrible in their strength and vigour: they had great ambitions and made an attack on the gods. The story told by Homer about Ephilates and Otus, how they tried to climb up to heaven to attack the gods, really refers to them (190b). .
This attack on the gods is what eventually led to the condition that humans have constantly been in since, as Plato tells us;.
The gods didn't see how they could kill them, wiping out the human race with thunderbolts as they"d done with the giants; if they did that the honours and sacrifices the gods received from them would disappear. But they couldn't let them go on behaving outrageously. After much hard thought, Zeus had an idea; "I think I have a plan by which human beings could still exist but be too weak to carry on their wild behavior. I shall now cut each of them into two; they will be weaker and also more useful to us because there will be more of them. They will walk around upright on two legs- (190b-c).