University of South Florida Plato’s Symposium I have attached the assignment requirements. Also here is some links may helps you write.
FIRST PAPER: Plato’s SYMPOSIUM
Write an essay (at least 4 pages) addressing this question:
Which view of love does Plato ultimately endorse or accept in the Symposium?
Your goal is to offer an INTERPRETATION of the text.
Your interpretation must be defended using specific details from the text
and from class lecture notes.
To defend your interpretation, you must show how it is better than a
competing view, which is also plausible. (For example, do not merely argue
that Plato accepts Pausanias’ view. Instead, argue that Plato indicates that
Pausanias’ view is to be preferred to Aristophanes’ view.)
You must discuss both FORMAL and CONTEXTUAL aspects of the
Symposium. Formal aspects include literary features used by Plato in the
construction of the text: its dialogue form, its order, its narrative and
dramatic developments, its use of language, etc. Contextual aspects include
social and historical information that bears on our understanding of the text.
Your essay must identify and explain at least three different views about
the value and nature of love offered in the text. (For example, you might pick
Aristophanes, Pausanias, and Alcibiades or Phaedrus, Socrates, and
Alcibiades, or something else. There are MANY different, possible views of
love in the text. You should pick three that you think are IMPORTANT to
discuss and compare.)
You must quote and cite the text to support your discussion. Use the margin
numbers AND page numbers in your citations. Use in-text citations in
parentheses, like this:
Pausanias complicates the view put forward by Phaedrus. Pausanias claims that
there are two kinds of love, one of which is both superior and more rare. (180D,
Your discussion must make intelligent use of terms and concepts introduced
in class lectures. These include the following.
the ladder of love
the fate of the historical Socrates
roles of Lover and Beloved
the complex, nested structure of the dialogue
virtues: courage, wisdom,
You do NOT have to discuss ALL of the above.
As you reflect, consider the questions we discussed in class, and locate textual
support from the various speeches in the Symposium to answer them. The questions
below are designed to help you generate an INTERPRETATION of the text. You do
not need to answer all of these questions in your essay.
Does love lead lovers to wisdom and virtue?
Does love inspire lovers to great deeds or noble acts?
Does love inspire lovers to reckless, foolhardy, or shameful behavior?
Does love make us immortal? How so?
Are some kinds of erotic love superior to others?
Does love provide insight, knowledge, and wisdom?
Does love blind lovers to the truth, drawing them into relationships that are
Does love require reciprocity from both lovers? Must lovers be equal in social
In what ways does love make humans appear comical or absurd?
In what ways does love make humans appear tragic or desperate?
Is interpersonal love more important than love of wisdom?
Is interpersonal love compatible with love of wisdom?
FORMATTING and EDITING and SUBMITTING
Your paper must adhere to these formatting specifications.
• 12-point font
• black ink
• one-inch right and left margins
• printed on paper AND submitted electronically
• your name on the top of each page
• each page numbered
• Your name, the course name, the due date, and the professor’s name should
appear on the first page only, at the top, on the right or left side, singlespaced.
• Do NOT skip extra spaces between paragraphs or play any tricks to make
your essay appear longer or shorter. Such tricks only function to aggravate
your reader and grader.
• Title on page one
This is NOT a research paper. The ONLY sources you need to succeed in this
assignment are your class notes and the text of the Symposium. Do not consult
additional sources. The goal is for you to engage your mind by reflecting directly on
the text you have read.
You will turn in your paper in TWO ways. Turn in an electronic copy through
CANVAS. Turn in a paper copy at the start of class on the due date. You must TURN
IN BOTH ELECTRONIC AND PAPER COPIES OF YOUR WORK ON THE SAME DAY.
ADDITIONAL NOTES ON CITATION and ACADEMIC HONESTY
To avoid the charge of plagiarism or academic dishonesty (which are severely
punished), students must write their own original papers without the aid of
sources not assigned in this course. You may not buy, lease, borrow, steal, copy,
quote, cite, or otherwise use any paper, website, or other text in preparing your
paper. To reiterate: All you need is your copy of the Symposium, your class notes,
and your own mind.
1) PARAPHRASE OR SUMMARY:
Pausanias is centrally concerned with the moral status of love. He
acknowledges that love can be either noble and heavenly or vulgar and earthly
(p.14, 181B-D). He shifts from this general distinction to a concern with how the
city-state regulates (homoerotic) love (p.15, 182B-D).
2) DIRECT QUOTATION:
Pausanias observes that in Athens the customs that regulate Love are
“remarkably complex” (p.15, 182B). Ultimately, Pausanias suggests that proper
social customs must be somewhere between “plain condemnation” of
homoeroticism and “indiscriminate approval” of it (p. 15, 182D).
**Any paper that does not adequately and appropriately cite the text, no
matter how smart or well-written, will not receive a grade higher than a “C.”
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