We will focus this work on the Platonic treatment of the body at the Symposium, under a particular approach: to consider the dialogic dynamics of this text in the manner of a "kaleidoscope" through which Plato presents us with images, elaborates them, complicates them and transforms them. We will attend in particular to the first four speeches, showing that already from the beginning there is in the dialogue a strong conceptual construction and a positive vision of the body, before the praise of Socrates. After this optical experience through the praise of Phaedrus, Pausanias, Eriximachus and Aristophanes, we will analyze the link between the sphere of corporeality and (1) sexual desire, (2) ethics and (3) happiness. We will conclude that in this dialogue Plato elaborates an anthropological model in which the role of the body is undoubtedly present for the philosophical search. Finally, we will weave a counterpoint with the film Il Banchetto di Platone by Marco Ferreri (1989), which recounts the meeting in the house of Agaton following the Platonic text almost to the letter. We will contrast our thesis with certain scenic decisions of the film, according to which the body is devalued to the darkest sphere of the purely sexual detached from the philosophical character. In the light of this counterpoint, we will return to the film, since there the corporeal is imposed as a clear protagonist and, although attached to the traditional hermeneutics of dialogue, it also opens the possibility of a critical reflection on the role that the body can have in philosophical action.
Keywords: Plato | Symposium | body | sexual desire | ethics | happiness