Reading: Plato’s Symposium

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Reading: Plato’s Symposium
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(1) Read the Symposium carefully and watch the lectures

(2) Pick two of the speeches that you found interesting and use them to respond to the following prompt:

(a) In your own words, explain the basic content of the two speeches. This brief summary should be no more than 300 words for the two speeches combined. You should try to summarize very concisely the theory of love in each of the two speeches. In your summary, you should compare the two speeches.

(b) Once you’ve summarized the two speeches, develop your own analysis by responding to the following questions:

(i) How would you define romantic love? Is romantic love natural or is it something created by culture? How have modern technologies, such as Facebook and online dating, transformed romantic love? Have they destroyed love, or made it more accesible to people? Is love something that can be planned for, or does it always happen spontaneously, by chance? Use the the concepts developed in the two speeches to answer these questions, and then include your own thoughts about it. Use the speeches as a starting point, and then include your own thoughts about love. This part should be at least 750 words.

(ii) Once you’ve answered a and b.i, discuss the following: How does Plato’s Symposium help you understand love better? 

(3) In one short paragraph, develop your conclusions


  • Should be 3-4 pages
  • Double spaced
  • Times New Roman
  • 12 point font
  • Follow all word-length requirements (listed in each section)
  • You must discuss the text by Plato thoroughly. Failure to discuss the reading by Plato will result in a point deduction. 


  • Please do not include any quotes from the text or from secondary sources. All quotations will receive a 5 point deduction. I am only interested in what you have to say. Just refer to the text and discuss it.
  • Do NOT include a works cited page, since you won’t be quoting the text. I know which text you are using and referring to, so there is no need for a works cited page. 


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