Archive for June 3, 2009

Continuing on with the reading, I’m moving on to Gorgias and Encomium of Helen. From what I understand, this is a speech that he gave as a demonstration of his amazing rhetorical prowess. It was a show, meant to sell his services. The theory was that if he could convince people that Helen should be praised rather than looked down upon, then he could convince anyone of anything. For modern context, I suppose the closest we could think of would be convincing a congregation of Jews that Hitler really wasn’t a bad guy, and that while he did bad things, it wasn’t his fault.

So that’s what Gorgias does for Helen. He has four basic tacts for this: “For either by will of Fate and decision of the gods and vote of Necessity did she do what she did, or by force reduced or by words seduced or by love possessed” (6). Just from this, we can see the strength of his arguments. (more…)