Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Is It The Power Of Love?

“Men seemed to have failed completely to comprehend the power of Eros, for if they did comprehend it, they would have built to him the greatest altars and temples and offered the greatest sacrifices, whereas he is given none of these honors, although he should have them most of all…”


From Aristophanes’ Speech in the Symposium

Please use any of the myths we read about love to critique or support this quotation? In your response, react, evaluate, challenge, or contemplate. (Please complete this blog response by Tue., Feb. 24th, 2015.)

12 comments:

Maggie Dowling said...

I think that what this quote really means is that men forgot how everlasting love can be and how nothing can tear it apart, not that they didn't understand it. I don't think you exactly have to understand it to know what it is and to want it. In the 'Eight Brief Tales of Lovers', it shows how the love between two people is everlasting. That love goes beyond death.

Kathryn C. said...

The brain is designed to connect with other people. The chemicals that form in the brain react to human contact. It is only natural that man should love. This is why Aristotle said Eros has great power and should have many temples and alters to his name. Man needs love to survive. Without it, he is not human. Sadly, time has altered man's idea of "love" to become more physical than emotional. The God of Love himself hid his appearance from his wife for fear she would love his outward appearance more than his true self. How many people seek this for themselves yet do not put the effort into obtaining it!
Many of the "Eight Brief Tales of Lovers" support the idea of the power of love. Pyramus and Thisbe learned to love each other through a wall, before ever seeing each other. Baucis and Philemon loved each other for many years, into old age. Many myths center on the power of love to change a heart, as it did Pygmalion's, and to earn the gods' respect, as in Ceyx and Alcyone's story.
I believe a man or woman cannot be whole if it does not love something - a friend, family member, significant other, a pet. Humans need something to care for and Aristotle understood that.

Dan Jones said...

Perhaps the ancient people did not build temples for the god of love because love is a different kind of power. Not because they didn't, but because they understood it all to well. All of the gods have powers like Zeus has lightning and Posiedon has water and so on. People built altars to these gods because they needed protection from the sea or something like that, but they did not need to build a temple to Eros because love doesn't work like that. The ancient people saw that love is one the things that humans equal the gods in. This is proven true throughout the ancient stories. In the the tale of Ceyx and Alcyone the gods let them be together because of their love. The same goes with Pygmalion and Galatea, the Statue comes to life because Venus has no power to deny Pygmalion of his love. The greek people show throughout their writings that there understanding of love was that they and the gods were equal to each other in the respect of love if nothing else. That is why they didn't build extravagant temples to honor Eros.

anime/M/1996 said...

I have to agree I think people in any society forget sometimes how hared love can be.That through these trials amazing things can happen. Like in the 'Eight Brief Tales of Lovers', it shows that a powerful true love will even effect the gods.

Trevor J said...

I think that man kind can sometimes take love for granted maybe, and forget about how powerful everlasting love can truly be. I think that love has always and will always be around, so humans don't necessarily cherish it the way they might cherish other special powers, that are more out of the ordinary. Or potentially, humans can be very damaged by love when the other person doesn't love them back, so maybe weren't huge fans of it.

Lucy L. said...

This quote says to me that men too often take love fr granted and throw it around flippantly, without truly pondering the meaning behind love. True love is everlasting, unfailing, and forever. Orpheus journeyed to the underworld for love, and was never whole again without her. Pyramus and Thisbe died for love. And Baucis and Philemon would not even let death part them. If man truly realized this, they would cater to love endlessly and attempt to appease the god of love, that he would look in their favor. But as such realization is lost, Eros has fallen by the wayside, to be covered up with shallow, temporary 'love'.

Alec McCranie said...

Aristophanes said that Eros should have the greatest altars and temples because he understands that love is the greatest power of them all. That if not for love than one would not be human. The purpose of human life is to fall in love and procreate. This was shown in the Cupid and Psyche myth at the beginning when Psyche's parents fret about how Psyche will never fall in love. One can only understand the power of love once they have experienced it. Aristophanes understands the power of love and realizes that it is more powerful than all the other gods combined and he was trying to spread his ideas to other Greeks.

MaggieH said...

I think that Eros was not offered the greatest sacrifices and altars because people don't recognize the power and importance of love. People are quick to honor the gods of war or other great powers. People forget that love matters as well. In most myths, love is the underlying theme message of the story. For example, Cupid and Pysche's myth shows that love is worth fighting for. If more people realized that, than more sacrifices would be made to Eros.

Kathleen said...

This quote by Aristophanes is one that I can generally agree with. Although Aphrodite was the goddess of love, Eros was the real deity that worked to distribute love amongst the people. Many of the "eight brief tales of lovers", if not all, spoke to just how very powerful love is, and how it can transcend time and death. This love, this power, is brought forth by Eros. So yes, I think that Aristophanes was right. Eros deserves to be worshiped highly for his work.

Anicia2277 said...

This quote is saying that all overlook the importance and power of love. Many glorify the people who succeed in areas of power and areas of strength in war, yet according to this quote love is just as worthy and just as powerful.

ZWikle-0529-1 said...

I think what the quote is saying that man can forget how love can be and, and how hard love can be and that you really need to put the effort into it to make it last. I also think that man can really take love for granite and they forget really how hard love can be and keeping it alive is even harder. I think the myth that supports the quote is 'Eight Brief Tales of Lovers' it shows how true love can effect anybody even the gods true love can really overcome them.

Shena G said...

Now that I think about it, yeah, Eros was pretty powerful because he had power over the gods and goddesses as well - not just mortals. Even Zeus, the king of the gods could not best others without them doing the same to him, and even then all he could do was strike them with thunderbolts which didn't really do anything as they were immortal. Even in the Cupid and Psyche myth, when Eros asks Zeus to marry them, Zeus is quoted as saying, "I will do as you ask even though you have caused my great trouble and made me do a number of vices..." insinuating that Eros makes Zeus fall madly in love over and over again, knowing that he is married, without Zeus being able to resist it.