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Exploring Love in Shakespeare's Sonnets Essay

Project id 1002378
Subject area Self Improvement
Document type Essay
Words 1451
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In Plato's Symposium, the conversation on the character of romance between Socrates and his companions at the house of Agathon clearly discerns key ideas that Shakespeare uses from the sonnets. Beauty, childhood, and love are topics of discussion from the discussions, and Plato's thoughts show up again and again when the sonnets are explored. In Symposium, Aristophanes gives a thorough outline of a time when people weren't in their current physical form (Plato 353). His tale posits that the original kind of humankind differed in the present because "sexes were not two as they're now, but originally three in number," to which he adds, "there was man, woman and the marriage of the two, with a name corresponding to the double nature," that is known as androgynous (Plato 353). The physical nature of ancient man is discussed: "[Man] was round, his back and sides forming a circle; and he had four hands and four feet, 1 head with two faces, looking opposite ways, set on a round neck and precisely alike; also four ears, two privy members, and the remainder to coincide" (Plato 354). Aristophanes goes on to describe the gods divide these beings in 2 so that primeval man wouldn't be as powerful as them. At some point, the halves are filled out to make symmetry. Plato states, "human nature was originally one and we were a whole, along with the desire and pursuit of the whole is called love" (Plato 357). Therefore, the explanation for homosexual and heterosexual behavior can be gleaned out of this particular myth. The drive for love goes beyond the sexual to the spiritual. In Shakespeare's sonnets, the poet character battles feelings between a fair youth, who's often characterized as a young man, and the dark woman, who's a sensual female. Throughout th...

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