What Plato and Murdoch Think About Love

Shadi Shakouri, Rosli Talif

Abstract


There are many interpretations of love and lots of scholars write and talk on love; however, what exactly is the meaning of love? Iris Murdoch’s works are an accumulation of emotional relationships and feelings of love. Her great subject is love, both sexual and non-sexual, and her characters are the portrayal of a small group of people caught up in convoluted ties of love and hate, with Eros ruling over them (Cohen 22). Murdoch was one of the most respected British writers and philosophers of the second half of the twentieth century and, of course, the postwar period. In Murdoch’s novels, love is one of the central themes—marriage, as the institution of love, more often binds than frees. Her characters are mainly ego-centric people who struggle to love and are often overwhelmed by the factor of self-obsession, jealousy, ambition, fascination with suffering and charismatic power. They are absolutely ordinary people with a consuming demand for love, and mental and physical exile. Murdoch was inspired by Plato’s ideas in many ways. Like art, here again Plato’s idea of love is more skeptical than Murdoch’s, whereas Murdoch kept it only as a way to the Good, creation, and happiness. Murdoch and Plato saw love more as a Freudian concept, the Eros, the word that comes from the name of the first Greek god of love. Both the philosophers, Plato and Murdoch, believed that this erotic longing and desires revived by Eros can led to a new direction, a way toward virtue and truth. Her protagonist or marginalized characters are usually tackling it with either vulgarity or the heavenly, which results in creation, art or salvation. Murdoch, as a major moral philosopher, usually grasps the chances to encapsulate her moral visions in her works, and created novels that should be counted as meditations on human love and goodness.

 


Keywords


Eros, erotic love and real artwork, moral philosopher, The Black Prince

Full Text:

PDF

References


Cohen, Richard. “She used to write novels, Rev. Work. Iris Murdoch: A Life by Peter J. Conradi” Commonwealth magazine (2002): 21-22.

Conradi, Peter J. Iris: The Life of Iris Murdoch. New York: W. W. Norton & Company, 2001.

Hooks, Susan Luck. “The Archetypal Quest in the Works of Iris Murdoch.” Diss. University of South Carolina, 1990.

Meyers, Jeffrey. “Iris Murdoch: A Memoir.” New Criterion. 18: 3 (1999): 22. Questia Media America, Inc. Web. 10 May 2010.

Murdoch, Iris. “Nostalgia for the Particular” Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society New Series 52 (1951 - 1952): 243-260. Blackwell Publishing on behalf of The Aristotelian Society Stable Accessed: 05/03/2010.

---. The Black Prince. USA: Penguin, 1973.

---. The Sacred and Profane Love Machine. England: Chatto & Windus, 1974.

---. The Fire and the Sun: Why Plato Banished the Artists: Chatto & Windus, 1977.

---. The Sea, The Sea. USA: Penguin, 1978.

---. The Good Apprentice. England: Chatto & Windus, 1985.

Nussbaum, Martha C. “When She Was Good, Rev. Work: Iris Murdoch: A Life by Peter J. Conradi” The New Republic Magazine (2002)

---. “Faint with Secret Knowledge”: Love and Vision in Murdoch’s The Black Prince.” Poetic Today 25: 4 (2004): 689-710.

Slaymaker, William. “Myths, Mystery and the Mechanisms of Determinism: The Aesthetics of Freedom in Iris Murdoch’s Fiction” EBSCO publishing (2002): 166-180.

Soble, Alan. “A History of Erotic Philosophy” Journal of Sex Research 46: 2-3 (2009): 104-120. Drexel University.

Sulaiman, Amo. “Plato: White and Non-white Love” Kritike 3:1 (2009) 78-93.

Thompson, Betty. “Rev. Work. Iris Murdoch: A Life by Peter J. Conradi” Christian Century Magazine (2002): 40-42.

Tierney, Kathleen Mary. “Eros and Evil in Iris Murdoch’s Spiritual Vision.” Diss. Stanford University, 2007.




DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7575/ijalel.v.1n.3p.58

Refbacks

  • There are currently no refbacks.




Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

2012-2019 (CC-BY) Australian International Academic Centre PTY.LTD

International Journal of Applied Linguistics and English Literature

To make sure that you can receive messages from us, please add the journal emails into your e-mail 'safe list'. If you do not receive e-mail in your 'inbox', check your 'bulk mail' or 'junk mail' folders.