The Sorrows of Young Werther
Eulogies of Love in Symposium and The Sorrows of Young Werther
In Plato’s Symposium and Johann Wolfgang von Goethe’s The Sorrows of Young Werther, the two protagonists are overcome by their love and dedicate an eulogy in the form of a speech or a series of letters to their beloved. The multitude of letters composed by Werther to Lotte is praised as one of the great loves in literary history worthy of inspiring a new trend of blue coats; while the drunken speech composed by Alcibiades to his love Socrates is deemed yet another “common love” dominated by nothing more than lust and passion. Despite seemingly irreconcilable differences between the two loves exhibited by Alcibiades and Werther, both eulogies delivered by the two men are ultimately testaments to love’s ability to free them from constrictions, inspire, elevate, and bless them with a livelier existence.
The power love possesses does not discriminate between common and celestial love as demonstrated by Alcibiades and Werther’s newfound ability to break the confinements that previously limited their actions and speech. Both Plato and Goethe uses a state of intoxication to describe the freedom of speaking and acting without the limiting constraints of internal and external social standards. Alcibiades admits that “truth comes from...
Join Now to View Premium Content
GradeSaver provides access to 921 study guide PDFs and quizzes, 7288 literature essays, 2055 sample college application essays, 302 lesson plans, and ad-free surfing in this premium content, “Members Only” section of the site! Membership includes a 10% discount on all editing orders.
Already a member? Log in