Analysis Of Encomium Of Helen, Dissoi Logoi, And Plato 's Gorgias

1541 WordsSep 28, 20177 Pages
Introduction One of the main differences between humans and animals is our stream of conscience. Our stream of conscience contributes to our ability to speak and form language in a powerful way, which overall contributes to the ability to function successfully within a society. Many philosophers built on the philosophies of the political atmosphere, language, and the shift from literacy (recited knowledge) to oratory (agency, ability to formulate personal thoughts and opinions). Through the analysis of various philosophical works, I will provide the basic understanding of the importance of the development of rhetoric and how it’s foundation has set the precedent for the future. In this paper I intend to explore, Gorgias Encomium of Helen,…show more content…
45) and “the effect of speech is comparable to the power of drugs over the nature of bodies” (Gorgias, pg. 46). These statements imply that language is powerful, and has the ability to put the audience under the spell of persuasion to the means of the speakers end. Gorgias’s use of antithesis, length, and rhythm made his audience not only “aroused by sensual pleasure”, but also “shared a sense of participation in a kind of wisdom available no other way” (Bizzell and Herzberg, pg. 42). This type of speech was seen as unique because language like this has never been used prior to the shift from oratory to literacy. Overall, the “Encomium of Helen” helped philosophers and rhetoricians understand rhetoric and language by (1) Gorgias demonstration of his own rhetorical wisdom/skill, (2) Offering an argument that speech is just as powerful as gods, psychical force, seduction, and the true power of love, and (3) Introduces the question of whether rhetoric itself or those who abuse rhetoric, are responsible for its moral and ethical implications. The development and change that led to the rhetorical shift Dissoi Logoi As Gorgias spread his wisdom and skill through the Encomium of Helen, other philosophers also expressed their wisdom and skill through contributing multiple perspectives to rhetoric. As other philosophers have studied rhetoric, there has been many different perspectives and criticisms that add to the complexity of

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