The Encomium Of Helen Gorgias Analysis

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Gorgias was a famous sophist. A sophist is a class of professional teachers in ancient Greece who gave instruction in various fields, as in general culture rhetoric, politics, or disputation. Sophist thought that all language incorporated a persuasive aspect. Gorgias believed that the truth can be created by rhetoric, for instance poetry. According to Gorgias a good orator can speak on any topic and persuade the audience with the power of speech. I chose to analyze Gorgias’ writing, the Encomium of Helen. Gorgias is defending Helen by pointing out specific reasons as to why she should not be blamed for starting the Trojan War. “How can one regard blame of Helen as just, since she is utterly acquitted of all charges, whether she did what …show more content…
One way was that speech is a powerful tool that is used in motivational speaking. Motivational speeches and positive speeches aim to encourage their audience to overcome obstacles that they are battling. They do this by expressing positivity both verbally and non-verbally. Another connection is that love could have been a contributing factor as to why Helen should not take all the blame. Love can make a person do crazy things. This commonly used phrase is evidence that this is a shared belief amongst a wide range of people. Many individuals blame less than smart decisions on being in love and that is what clouded their judgment. Lastly, is many of today’s advertisements utilize persuasive speech is to entice the audience. This way the advertisement can be used to sway the audience into buying their …show more content…
According to Thomas Conley, “In the Gogianic view, rhetoric is a unilateral transaction between an active speaker and a passive audience” (Conley, 1990, p.6). I found that in this way of viewing things it weakens the power of speech. The speaker is the one with the most power. Will the power of the speaker be diminished if the audience is not moved by what the speaker said? Thomas Conley then goes on to say, “A skillful orator can influence the audience, delighting them, making them bold or fearful, or indeed bewitching them with “evil persuasion,” as is clear from Encomium of Helen. Thus the relationship between speaker and audience is to speak, “asymmetric,” as it is the speaker who casts a spell over the audience, not the other way around” (Conley, 1990, p.6). As a reader, I could infer that Conley did not think this kind of approach was ethical. Conley thought that the approach was flawed because it meant that the speaker had the power to persuade their audience to go against their strongly held

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