Sample Essay

Consider Plato’s idea that bodily love is fleeting. Would Shakespeare agree? Where in this poem does Shakespeare seem to agree or disagree with Plato?

“And the true order of going, or being led by another, to the things of love, is to begin from the beauties of earth and mount upwards for the sake of that other beauty, using these as steps only, and from one going on to two, and from two to all fair forms, and from fair forms to fair practices, and from fair practices to fair notions, until from fair notions he arrives at the notion of absolute beauty, and at last knows what the essence of beauty is (Plato).”

According to Plato there are two types of love. One is which attracts the eye and brings lust to the heart of man; the other form of love is one where the individual is not judged by physical appearance, rather by inner beauty. The absence of physical beauty without internal beauty is inherently not beautiful but rather ugly. Thus, bodily love is not the truest form of love rather it is merely a form of self gratification (Plato).

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