The of love then Sappho’s ideas. This understanding

The language in Plato’s symposium and the expression of Sappho’s poetry are similar in that they both deal with concepts of homosexual love. Sappho, the only ancient Greek female author whose work survived, talks from the female point of observation, whereas Plato’s work concentrates on the idea of love among males. Though both of their perspectives are similar in ways such as their ideas of physical attraction and desire, Plato’s work creates a better understanding of the nature of love then Sappho’s ideas. This understanding will be shown with three arguments and counter- arguments in order to demonstrate the dominance of Plato over Sappho. It will than be concluded with an overview of the main idea and a recap of the three arguments made for Plato.In the symposium, Pausanias (Greek geographer) conveys the second part which talks about a few of the societal standards representing gay (homoerotic) relationships. The way that a companion (an older man) and his lover ( a younger man) may act towards each other is largely based on society’s ethical code. It is shown that the tradition of this relationship is pursuer to the pursued; the older man takes the initiative in the relationship and is the dominant during sexual intercourse whereas the younger man would gain in return the assistance, support and mentor ship from the older man. For example, Pausanias says, ” our society encourages lovers to chase their boyfriends, and their boyfriends to run away: this enables us to find out whether a given lover and his beloved are good or bad” (Plato 2012: 894). Pausanias articulates the ethical component when he talks about the conditions under which it is adequate to satisfy a lover. It is reasonable when ” The lover appreciates that any service he performs for a boyfriend for gratifies him would be morally acceptable, and the boy appreciated that any favours he does for a man who is teaching him things and making him good…” (Plato 2012: 896). Pausanias therefore is saying that the relationship between the two people are very much like a teacher and their student. The tradition focusses on that a necessary course of action is to expand the virtue, in the lover, and the wisdom, in the boyfriend.In Sappho’s verse we see components of this “follower/sought after” relationship also, however Sappho names no tradition stipulating who must pursue and who must be pursued. The parts are inevitably compatible, “for if she flees, soon she will pursue” (Sappho 2012: 638) which proposes that the relationship between the two females are equal. Sappho depicts the objects of interest (the subjects of her verse) in absolutely physical terms, demonstrating this through dialect, as she portrays their physical perspectives “your soft throat” ( Sappho 2012: 641) and also the physical impact they (the sought after) have on her (the follower). As opposed to Pausanias’ discourse where the objective of male homoerotic love is moral fulfillment and the obtaining of information, the objective, as per Sappho’ appears to being able to pursue a physical yearning.                      


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