In the speech that Plato has him deliver in the Symposium, Aristophanes explains how Zeus split all human beings down the middle. Consequently every man or woman is only half a complete creature, and goes through life with a passionate longing to find his or her complement in order to be reunited with it. He then reports how Hephaestus asks two lovers: ‘Is the object of your desire to be always together as much as possible, and never to be separated from one another night and day? If that is what you want, I am ready to melt and weld you together, so that, instead of two, you shall be one flesh.’ 1 Although Aristophanes is not expressing Plato’s own views, he is referring to a feature that in one form or another is characteristic for romantic love throughout all ages. This feature is especially prominent in romanticism 2 and in mysticism.