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Word Count: 692
Platonic love is defined as love conceived by Plato as ascending from passion for the individual to contemplation of the universal and ideal or a close relationship between two persons in which sexual desire is nonexistent or has been suppressed or sublimated In Symposium Plato discusses various types of love through the dialogue of his speakers and it is through this that we are able to go beyond a simple definition and truly understand the nature of Platonic love its importance in ancient Greece and its relevance to our lives today For Plato the search for virtue is capable of being attained through platonic love the love of true Beauty Only after one has ascended past the basic forms of love the love of beautiful bodies and the love of wisdom can one love true Beauty and therefore be capable of true virtue It is easy to understand when at the end of the speech of Diotoma she says When he looks at Beauty in the only way that Beauty can be seen only then will it become possible for him to give birth not to images of virtue because hes in touch with no images but to true virtue because hes in touch with true Beauty Thus Platonic love in its purest essence in Symposium is love of this kind the love of Beauty This is the kind of love is the epitome of what Platonic love is There are other references in Syposium to love that is non-sexual One such example takes place in the Speech of Pausanias makes a distinct difference between vulgar love and noble love the love of the body versus the love of the soul This speech focuses on the fact that loving just the sexual act is a young base type of love which included both the love of women and lust for young boys The real love is that of strictly men older boys and is love
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