Plato Questions and Answers

Start Your Free Trial

What is the meaning of Aristophanes's speech from Plato's Symposium?

Expert Answers info

Lynnette Wofford eNotes educator | Certified Educator

calendarEducator since 2011

write7,045 answers

starTop subjects are Literature, History, and Business

Aristophanes was the most famous comic poet of ancient Greece and author of The Clouds, a play about Socrates that is actually mentioned in Plato's Apology as having been brought forward as evidence against Socrates at the trial of Plato. Because Aristophanes is a comic poet, Plato makes him give a very funny speech in Symposium. He accounts in the speech for the origin of love as being due to people originally having been welded together as beings with two parts; thus for every person there is a missing half necessary to restore the person to completion as a full human. Love is the search for that completion. The sense of the Greek text, as Aristophanes' plays, includes many double entendres and slapstick and sexual humor.

check Approved by eNotes Editorial