ÃÂ· Written by Plato and based on a dinner party attended by seven men to discuss the topic of love. Usually they would have drunk plenty of wine but they had just attended one of the men's daughter's wedding so they decide to have a dialogue on love.
ÃÂ· Socrates is one of the men, but his part was written by Plato and is widely regarded as Plato's views.
ÃÂ· It's important when reading the dialogue that they are not just talking about the thing we think as love but also the physical properties of Eros, the god of love. They debate how old he or she is and what is in its nature to do.
ÃÂ· Freud was a great admirer of Plato and in particular of the Symposium, which can be seen when he once said 'I align my concept of the libido with the divine Eros of Plato'.
ÃÂ· He talks to the men through the story of when he met a woman named Diotima.
ÃÂ· Through his story Socrates tells us that love is neither a god nor a mortal. He is a spirit that is neither rich nor fair as the others thought, but in fact normal. This spirit is the place between ignorant and wise and between good and evil.
ÃÂ· Socrates does not put much faith in love, he moves away from the romantic image of two lovers and instead transposes practicality and sensibility onto the 'arrangement'.
ÃÂ· Some would say it is a very practical few of love, almost cold.
ÃÂ· Where himself and Freud and Lacant meet is when Socrates goes on to question of what the nature of love is.
ÃÂ· He comes to the conclusion that love is the everlasting possession of good...