Desire Under the Plane Tree: The Fallacy of the Non-Lover and the Embodiment of Erotas in Plato?s Phaedrus
In the opening scene of Plato?s Phaedrus, the Socratic interlocutor of the same name swears on a sacred plane tree in order to compel an unwilling Socrates to speak on the subject of Eros. Socrates subsequently both recants this speech and claims it was an insult to the gods. This paper attempts to reconcile Socrates? premise in his initial speech?the lover disguised as a non-lover?with the idea that representation of any kind is inhibitive of man?s quest for the Good, specifically investigating the depiction of divinity and the salutary effects of madness on human desire.