Aristophanes – Plato's Symposium Aristophanes – Plato's Symposium Essay, Research Paper In Aristophanes speech the status of the Gods is intertwined with that of the myth. I will discuss the status of the Gods. In Aristophanes's speech the Gods can be viewed as creators, watchmen, and saviors. As creators: According to Aristophanes, the humans present form was created as a result of Zeus' design and Apollo's craftsmanship. As watchmen: The humans believe that they must do no wrong so as not to displease the Gods and be further punished for their insolence. Finally, the humans also believe that through proper worship and reverence the Gods will restore them to their "original nature.' In his speech Aristophanes suggests that Hephaestus might come down to ask the humans if they would like to be made into one.
At the end of page 28 Hephaestus tells them to, "Look at your love, and see if this is what you desire.' It is here that the Gods can be seen as saviors. To fully discuss the status of the Gods we must discuss the relationship between the humans and the Gods. In the beginning of his speech, Aristophanes tells of how and why the Gods made the humans what they are. The first aspect of the relationship between humans and Gods that is brought to our attention is one of mutual need. To the humans the Gods are everything; through the Gods the humans explained the mysteries of life. At the same time the Gods need the humans because of the worship and sacrifices they received from them, yet they are wary of the growing power of the humans and are forced to reconcile this situation.
The next aspect of the relationship between humans and Gods is fear. The humans know that being divided in two was a punishment from the Gods, so the fear of being further punished is what keeps the humans in control. On page 29, second paragraph, Aristophanes says, now the god has divided us as punishment for the wrong we did him, just as the Spartans divided the Arcadians. So there s a danger that if we don t keep order before the gods, we ll be split in two again Aristophanes continues with We should encourage all men, therefore, to treat the gods will all due reverence, so that we may escape this fate and find wholeness instead. He then goes on to tell everyone that, if Love is our guide and our commander.
Let no one work against him. Whoever opposes Love is hateful to the gods Aristophanes sums up his speech by telling all that in order to gain the favor of the Gods, one must embrace Love; that it is Love that will restore them to their original forms. So, since the humans were too powerful to remain as they were, yet their worship was too valuable to destroy them all together, the gods split humans as a means of controlling them. And Love is a byproduct of that split. Therefore Love is also derived from the Gods and should be revered as such to gain salvation.