Do you think any of the speakers come close to a good descripion of Love? What, according to Diotima, is Love?

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kimfuji eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Diotima gives Socrates a genealogy of love, stating that he is the son of "resource and need." In her view, love is not delicate, but beggarly and harsh. He sleeps in doorways, and is a master of artifice and deception. The beloved boy is delicate, she says, but the old lover looking for the boy is poor but resourceful and manipulative.

It is hinted that Diotima's idea about love is that it is a longing for immortality. The instinct to breed that you observe in animals and men who are attracted to women is an expression of this. She says that every one of us longs for endless fame, but that the wise know the difference between bodily and spiritual procreation . Socrates says that he learns from her that it is far better for men and boys to give birth to ideas than to children. Physical love is second to spiritual love, because the goal of spiritual love is to give birth to ideas. Ultimately love helps us to ascend to knowledge of the divine.