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attraction towards beautiful form or body but transcends gradually to love for Supreme Beauty.This concept of Divine Eros is later transformed into the term platonic love.According to Diotima in her discussion with Socrates, for anyone to achieve the final rung in the Ladder of Love, they would essentially transcend the body and rise to immortality - gaining direct access to Being.Such a form of love is impossible for a mortal to achieve."Now, if both these portraits of love, the tragic and the comic, are exaggerations, then we could say that the genuine portrayal of Platonic love is the one that lies between them.Platonic love as devised by Plato concerns rising through levels of closeness to wisdom and true beauty from carnal attraction to individual bodies to attraction to souls, and eventually, union with the truth. Platonic love is examined in Plato's dialogue, the Symposium, which has as its topic the subject of love or Eros generally.It explains the possibilities of how the feeling of love began and how it has evolved—both sexually and non-sexually.Of particular importance is the speech of Socrates, who attributes to the prophetess Diotima an idea of platonic love as a means of ascent to contemplation of the divine.The step of this ascent is known as the "Ladder of Love".
Eventually, in time, with consequent steps up the ladder, the idea of beauty is eventually no longer connected with a body, but entirely united with Being itself.Later in 1469, Marsilio Ficino put forward a theory of neo-platonic love in which he defines love as a personal ability of an individual which guides their soul towards cosmic processes and lofty spiritual goals and heavenly ideas (De Amore, Les Belles Lettres, 2012).The first use of the modern sense of platonic love is taken as an invention of Ficino in one of his letters.It is derived from the concept in Plato's Symposium of the love of the idea of good which lies at the root of all virtue and truth.For a brief period, Platonic love was a fashionable subject at the English royal court, especially in the circle around Queen Henrietta Maria, the wife of King Charles I.