symposium

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I know it’s a bit late, but here’s a little thing about Garnet. I imagine that she’d explain it to Steven like this- it’s a little bit from Plato’s ‘Symposium’, which has been used time and time again to explain the concept of soulmates. 

It took a while, because I had to use a ton of references from the show itself, for both colors, and poses.

The bad man is the common or vulgar lover, who is in love with the body rather than the soul; he is not constant because what he loves is not constant; as soon as the flower of physical beauty, which is what he loves, begins to fade, he is gone ‘even as a dream,’ and all his professions and promises are as nothing. But the lover of a noble nature remains its lover for life, because the thing to which he cleaves is constant.
—  Plato, Symposium (trans. Walter Hamilton)

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Lawrence Alma-Tadema painted Pompeian Scene in 1868.

Given the long, narrow canvas and the shallow composition, Alma-Tadema probably takes inspiration for this depiction of a Roman symposium from ancient pottery.

Two men—probably quite drunk by this point—listen to a woman playing the flutes, the remnants of their festivities on the table before them.

ONE-STAR REVIEWS OF PLATO’S SYMPOSIUM

“Don’t read this if you’re a woman.”

“The Ancient Greeks (or these ones specifically) were full of crap.”

“Plato, you wanker. Shut up.”

“Some useful tips on curing hiccups.”

“A bunch of arrogant, misguided, ridiculous mental masturbation.”

“Plato and his crew were sketchy motherfuckers.”

“I think I’m just not into ancient Greek sausage fests.”

“I think anyone that gave anything Plato wrote more than two stars probably didn’t really read it and just wants to seem intelligent.”

“Near the end the characters had drinks by which Socrates was among them. Apparently he is the man because by a night of heavy drinking was still able to remain coherent. Kudos to him.”

“As is typical of Plato, he has some astonishingly good points about the nature of love butted right up against patent absurdity. But what more can one expect from a pagan philosopher?”

“Philosophy is a strange field to me. Most of the time, I can’t get past the idea that a philosopher’s main activity is making things up.”

And the most honest reviewer there ever was:

“(Socrates is the fucking worst.)”

Plato wrote in his Symposium that humans have been looking for their soul mate ever since Zeus cut them in half. In his mythic story, Plato describes a world where there were men, women and people who were both men and women. Apparently, humans began discussing how they could climb up to heaven and replace the gods. The gods were upset by this and discussed what should be done. The simplest solution would be to destroy mankind, but Zeus came up with a better idea. He suggested cutting all human beings in half. This would serve two purposes. First, it would immediately double the number of people making offerings to the gods. Second, it would weaken the humans, so they would not be able to carry out their plan. Zeus’ idea was accepted, and the humans were all divided into two. Naturally, the humans were upset at this, and Zeus decided to enable each half to have intercourse with their opposite, symbolically creating a whole. Consequently, the males sought their female half, and the females sought their male half, allowing them to reproduce.

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I bet you didn’t picture this when you read Plato’s Symposium, dear reader.

Apparently Anselm Feuerbach did, though, in 1869.

In Feuerbach’s interpretation, the late and drunken Alcibiades arrives to Agathon’s celebration with an entourage in tow, gesturing broadly as Agathon stands to greet him.

Interestingly, Feuerbach’s elaborate attempts at decoration look nothing like the few examples of Greek wall painting that remain. Instead, he seems to have drawn from Roman traditions for a few center panel paintings.