The Symposium

by

Plato

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Pausanias is an older man who is in a long-term relationship with Agathon in Symposium, though little is known about him as a historical figure. In his speech, he distinguishes between “common” and “heavenly” love, arguing that the latter is felt between lovers and their boyfriends, especially when these relationships are focused on the development of virtue. In contrast, lesser people feel only common love, which includes love for women.

Pausanias Quotes in The Symposium

The The Symposium quotes below are all either spoken by Pausanias or refer to Pausanias. For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
The Nature of Love Theme Icon
). Note: all page numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer to the Penguin edition of The Symposium published in 1999.
174a-177e Quotes

After this, Aristodemus said, Socrates lay down and had dinner with the rest. They then poured libations, sang a hymn, and performed all the other customary rituals, and turned to drinking. Pausanias took the initiative, saying something like this: ‘Well, gentlemen, what’s the most undemanding way to do our drinking? I can tell you that I’m in a really bad state from yesterday’s drinking and need a rest. I think that’s true of many of you, as you were there yesterday - so think about how to do our drinking in the most undemanding way.’

Related Characters: Pausanias (speaker), Apollodorus (speaker), Socrates, Aristodemus of Cydathenaeum
Page Number: 7
Explanation and Analysis:
180c-185c Quotes

Common Love is genuinely “common” and undiscriminating in its effects; this is the kind of love that inferior people feel. People like this are attracted to women as much as boys, and to bodies rather than minds. They are attracted to partners with the least possible intelligence, because their sole aim is to get what they want, and they don’t care whether they do this rightly or not. So the effect of love on them is that they act without discrimination: it is all the same to them whether they behave well or not.

Related Characters: Pausanias (speaker), Apollodorus (speaker)
Page Number: 13
Explanation and Analysis:

These two rules must be combined (the one governing the love of boys and the one governing the love of wisdom and other kinds of virtue), to create the conditions in which it is right for a boy to gratify his lover. These conditions are realized when lover and boyfriend come together, each observing the appropriate rule: that the lover is justified in any service he performs for the boyfriend who gratifies him, and that the boyfriend is justified in any favor he does for someone who is making him wise and good. Also the lover must be able to develop the boyfriend’s understanding and virtue in general, and the boyfriend must want to acquire education and wisdom in general. When all these conditions are met, then and then alone it is right for a boyfriend to gratify his lover, but not otherwise.

Related Characters: Pausanias (speaker), Apollodorus (speaker)
Page Number: 17
Explanation and Analysis:
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Pausanias Character Timeline in The Symposium

The timeline below shows where the character Pausanias appears in The Symposium. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
174a-177e
Sobriety, Restraint, and Wisdom Theme Icon
The Ascent to Immortality Theme Icon
...libations and singing a hymn. Then they discuss how they will approach that evening’s drinking. Pausanias says he’s still recovering from the previous day’s drinking and hopes they’ll find an “undemanding”... (full context)
180c-185c
The Nature of Love Theme Icon
Pausanias gives his speech next. He says that he doesn’t think the guidelines for the speeches... (full context)
The Nature of Love Theme Icon
Inferiority of Women Theme Icon
Sobriety, Restraint, and Wisdom Theme Icon
The Ascent to Immortality Theme Icon
Pausanias explains that “common” love is undiscriminating, felt by inferior people. Such people are attracted to... (full context)
The Nature of Love Theme Icon
Inferiority of Women Theme Icon
Sobriety, Restraint, and Wisdom Theme Icon
The Ascent to Immortality Theme Icon
By contrast, Pausanias explains, “heavenly” love is derived from the older, more male-influenced Aphrodite and is thus directed... (full context)
The Nature of Love Theme Icon
Pausanias says that in Athens, there’s a kind of double standard at play when it comes... (full context)
The Nature of Love Theme Icon
Sobriety, Restraint, and Wisdom Theme Icon
The Ascent to Immortality Theme Icon
Pausanias says that there are certain conditions under which it’s right for a boy to gratify... (full context)
180d-188e
The Nature of Love Theme Icon
Eryximachus claims that Pausanias didn’t take his argument far enough. He says that Love isn’t just expressed in the... (full context)