Sex, Laugh, Love
In this short essay I will try to summarize some of the main points, and give a critical analysis on, the speech of the well known comic poet Aristophanes in Plato’s Symposium. First, he tries to explain the humans are totally unacquainted of some of the magical powers of Eros.
Furthermore, he defines Eros as a strong natural force rather than a god. Eros watches over us and guides us to happiness, according to Aristophanes. Second, he gives an account of how humans were three kinds in the past, male, female, and androgynous whose race had both female and male. Humans were round shape, like a ball, had four arms, four legs, two genitals, and two faces on one head. They used all their limbs to rotate around, to move forward and back ward. The male was sourced from the sun, the female of earth, and androgynous from moon.
The humans with their mighty strength and power got to greedy and wanted more. They attached the Olympian gods in a failed attempt. Zeus king of the Gods didn’t terminate the humans, because he and the other gods were in need of their prayers and sacrifices. Instead, to teach them a lesson they cut them in half to become weaker, to not defy the gods again. And Zeus promised to cut them again if they tried to pull another stunt. Apollo put the final touches on them, to remind them of their shameful defiance.
After this modification, humans desired to find their other half to be united with them.
Whenever two halves find each other, they cuddle and don’t want to be separated from one another. However, their reunion became their downfall, because they didn’t want to do anything but stay with each other, they eventually died of hunger or lack of activates. In addition, when one half died, the other tried to find another half. Zeus saw that the situation was not in his advantages. Therefore, he re-modified their genitals so that the male half and the female half can reproduce, While the other races can satisfy their lust by engaging in intercourse.
Aristophanes gives a standing ovation to the relationship between male-male, describing it as “boldness, manliness, and masculinity”. On the other hand, he condemns the male-female relationship, saying that women are adulteresses. When we meet our other half, love binds us together, and rather die than leave each other. This tremendous affection doesn’t come from the desire for sex, but rather something that can’t be described. Aristophanes mentions that if two lovers are asked by Hephaestus, the god of fire to be joined together for eternality and even when they die; they will be united to together in Hades, there answer will absolutely be positive.
For this was our ancient nature, to become one would means that we are whole again. Lets Eros be our guide, let’s not anger the gods to punish us...