The Bonds of Life

Filip Karfík

The paper examines symbolism of bonds in Plato’s Phaedo and Timaeus. The opening scene of the Phaedo which shows the loosening of Socrates’ fetters seems to have a double function: on the one hand it introduces the issue of the relation between pleasure and pain, on the other it serves as a metaphor for the liberation of the soul from the body. In the Timaeus the symbolism of bonds is worked out into a complex system. There are three kinds of bonds: those which hold together the geometrical structure of the bodies, those which hold together the harmonious structure of the soul and those which tie the souls to the bodies.