FRAMEWORK Framework framework mework work
Plato’s Symposium shows a phenomenal example of framework storytelling. Apollodorus tells a story to the reader of a man who asked him to tell a story of a party he had heard of from Aristodemus. In Aristodemus’ story, Socrates is at the party and regales them with a conversation had with the wise woman Diotima about love. Diotima, through Socrates, held that love is only love while a person is without it. Once the object of love is attained, it is yours and thusly cannot be loved. Love being a euphemism for hunt, attain or get in a manner of speaking.
There is an analogy between love and knowledge through this definition. Upon attaining knowledge it can be either discarded to memory and useful as an occasional tool or incorporated into daily life and taken for granted unless it is checked by an outside force such as when a new word is learned through conversation and the definition changes, is partially forgotten or misconstrued. The two comparisons here would be the stereotypical “white-trash” trailer wife and the couple acting as an individual without thought to the other persons needs because they automatically incorporate their significant others completely into their every decisive action. It could be argued here that neither is really a form of love. I would agree, the love was lost because it was attained and forgotten. The attainment of both knowledge and love is fun and challenging, causing a person to grow in order to incorporate this progression of their character. In order to keep the attained things one must work to continually keep them, or rather, to attain them in a new way in order to gain a greater understanding of their passion. If the trailer wife was brought flowers randomly just because it would be nice to see her smile then the love would still be there. They would be putting forth the effort to get each other even though they had each other.
It is said repeatedly and in many formats that love keeps a person youthful. In an attempt to maintain this thesis, I will assume this is something upon which is generally understood and agreed. For empirical proof, simply walk to the park and view the elderly couples smiling and sitting dreamily with each other as if it were their first date all over again. Knowledge can be connected to love in this as well. Should a person be a philosopher and find their love in knowledge then they will maintain a youthfulness through study as the elderly couples maintain their youthfulness through the perpetual attainment of each other.
Taken to the extremes of oral traditions or mythology, from which the truth stems more so than any second hand experience, it is easy to make the leap from the easily stunned humans to the great tales of the gods and their awesome, death defying or unnatural feats performed with such panache. The gods, under our lens, are the great philosophers in illo tempore. You just had to be there.
Love and knowledge may have many of the same symptoms but love is the stronger ailment. In Tales From Ovid Ted Hughes translates “Echo and Narcissus.” Echo was cursed by Juno for stopping her with conversation from catching Jupiter with a nymph, saying: “Your tongue/Has led me in such circles,/Henceforth/It will have to trail/Helplessly after others, uttering/Only the last words, helplessly,/Of what you heard last.” (Ovid 69-78) Later in the story, Echo sees Narcissus and falls immediately in love with him. He rejects her love and falls in love with his own reflection. Meanwhile Echo fell apart, hiding in a cave, “Sleeplessly/She brooded over the pain,/Wasting away as she suffered,” (Ovid 69-78) her body disappeared, her bones turned to stone and “Her voice roamed off by itself,/Unseen in the forest, unseen/On the empty mountainside-/Though all could hear it/Living the only life left to Echo.” (Ovid 69-78) She wasted away but could not die for her love of Narcissus. Even when he fell in love with himself and melted from his hubris she was angry but it makes no mention of her falling out of love with him. Why should it? Since she never attained him how could she not still be in love with him?
Echo’s love for Narcissus was powerful enough that she changed without any help from the gods; she became immortal through love. Even Hercules, when his jealous wife Deianira unintentionally poisoned him, needed to use fire to help him burn away his mortality before being placed in the sky as a constellation.
Echo has become one of the strongest characters in Either Greek or Roman mythology. There are relics, reminders and forces left over from the ancient literature that were created for or because of some purpose by the powers that were. None of which made themselves what they are today. None who fought as Echo fought; to remain, to love and keep loving, to abandon all else but the struggle for that attainment of something so unattainable.
To say the Greek and Roman gods have died may be a little rash considering they live on the outskirts of our imaginations, but Echo has easily surpassed and outlasted their power. Echo is to this day a self-made empirical force, no weaker than when Ovid finished his tales in the Metamorphosis Before the Common Era than this morning.
Echo has outlived the gods through her undying love, and dedication to love. I believe this proves that love is a stronger force than knowledge. If a person is attempting to drink from the well of life and maintain their youth, I would most likely recommend them to simply love. This recommendation would come with the warning that loving is something that one must never stop doing. Should one attain their youthfulness and believe that they have it they will have fallen out of love and thusly resume aging. The more afraid of aging the person is and the less they are concentrating on loving, the faster and harder the years will catch up with them. At least that is what Diotima told Socrates. Socrates in turn told Aristodemus, who told Apollodorus who told a man on the street. Apollodorus then told me about this encounter on the street and regaled me the same story as the man. I’m simply the messenger.
Ovid, "Echo and Narcissus." Tales from Ovid. Trans. Ted Hughes. New York: Farrar, Straus and
Giroux, 1999. Print.
Ovid, "Hercules and Deianira." Tales from Ovid. Trans. Ted Hughes. New York: Farrar, Straus
and Giroux, 1999. Print.
Plato, Symposium and Phaedrus. Mineola, New York: Dover Thrift Editions, 1993.