September 25, 2022
The mythical novel by Aristophanes who left everyone searching for "half of an orange" |  Globalism

The mythical novel by Aristophanes who left everyone searching for “half of an orange” | Globalism

Have you found the “half of the orange”, the “better half”, your soul mate?

The idea of ​​someone somewhere in the world who completes you like no other is part of one of the strangest and most magical explanations ever devised for why we fall in love.

This idea came from the mouth of the Greek playwright Aristophanes, who was born in it Athenabelow the Acropolis, circa 450 BC

In the mid-420 BC, he began curating his great comedies, political or purely fictional – including Talking Animals and Journeys to Heaven and the Underworld.

But his vision of love was expressed at a feast in 416 BC with whom were other famous Athenians, such as the philosopher Socrates and his student Plato, who wrote about what happened in a wonderful dialogue called banquetor A seminar.

A seminaror banquetis a famous Greek text that examines the nature of love: what it is, where it came from, and what it means to be in love.

It’s a dramatic dialogue in a private home, which begins with guests agreeing that it’s best not to overdrink. Then they decided that seven people would give a speech praising love.

banquet It is considered one of the masterpieces of Western philosophy and introduced the idea of ​​platonic love.

The banquet guests were trying to find meaning in love.

Socrates, for example, highlighted that learning to love is a step toward discovering beauty and transcendent truth, such as that offered by philosophy.

Aristophanes, on the other hand, was determined to be the third speaker, but had a bout of hiccups. So a doctor named Eriximachus spoke of the medicinal nature of love while Aristophanes was recovering.

And when it was his turn, instead of giving an intellectual speech, Aristophanes invented a legend.

One must first learn human nature and its modifications. Aristophanes begins his talk about love – Image: BBC History of Ideas

“Aristophanes explains our sense of need, our sense of loneliness until we find our other half through a new version of the origins of humankind,” explains Edith Hall, professor of classical studies at the university. King’s College LondonIn the United kingdomin the Italian League History of ideas (“History of Ideas”), from BBC Radio 4.

Aristophanes declared, “We must first learn about human nature and its modifications. Our ancient nature was not what it is now.” He had four hands and four feet and a head with two faces looking in opposite directions.”

Because of their shape, these early humans could walk upright, as we do today. But Hall says that when they wanted to go faster, they “jumped like balls, could do stunts, travel constantly and were happy.”

“Some were female, some were male and some were half female and the other half male.”

The original shape was something like this, according to Aristophanes – Image: BBC HISTORY OF IDEAS

Aristophanes also claimed that they had extraordinary strength and vitality, as well as great pride, to the point of conspiring against the gods.

Hall explains that “this is a standard Greek myth – there is a species that challenges and defeats the gods.”

When the fantasy genre challenges the gods, Zeus realizes he needs to do something to weaken her and make her less rude.

After much thought, Apollo ordered them to be cut in half, splitting them forever. Therefore, every human now has two legs, arms and a head and is always trying to find literally his other half.

“It’s a very, very beautiful story, and Aristophanes adds details to show how painful this chapter was,” says the teacher.

When Apollo put the humans upright and turned their heads so they could see the other half from the front, they exchanged strong hugs, desperately trying to unite again, to no avail.

Then Zeus takes pity and tries another source, moving his genitals forward – Image: BBC History of Ideas

Then Zeus takes pity and tries another resource, moving his genitals forward. Thus, during the embrace, a man and a woman meet, and the human race continues to exist.

But if two men meet, there will be at least satisfaction in their connection, and they will relax, return to work and worry about other things in life, according to Aristophanes.

The Greek playwright even explains why there is a belly button. According to his version, after making the cut, Apollo collected all the sagging skin and sewed it up in the middle of the abdomen.

So, says Aristophanes, “A long time ago the love of one for the other was inculcated in men, and restored to our ancient nature, in trying to make the two one and thus heal human nature.”

For British relations consultant Mary Balfour, the creation of Aristophanes is “in a way a very modern idea, because his story embodies all aspects of sexuality today.”

“It divides human beings into three different types: men who love men, women who love women, and women and men who love each other,” he explains.

“This cannot be more than the twenty-first century.”

But Balfour points out problematic aspects.

“You should not look for your other half to complete yourself, but rather be self-sufficient,” he says.

“And you don’t have to get into a relationship until you’re a complete happy person, because happy people make happy relationships.”

Also, the idea that there is one true love, a soul mate who might be on the other side of the world, prevents many people from finding a partner.

“Maybe on the way to work, they meet a lot of the right people, who haven’t had time to get to know them and feel good in their company, and that’s the foundation for a future relationship,” Balfour says.

In short, we should not expect to find the perfect person, but rather we should look for the perfect person. That way, we’ll have a better chance of finding the other “orange half.”