Multimedia

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Rhetorical Theory

Encomium on Helen - by Gorgias

Recorded by Kenny Bellew.

Gorgias was a 5th century BCE Sophist who taught rhetoric, or more specifically - the art of persuasion (especially in the courts).

There is also a Platonic dialogue that has his name, as Plato has Socrates debate the virtue of rhetoric with Gorgias. Socrates gets Gorgias to admit that rhetoric persuades to belief but not to knowledge.

The Encomium of Helen is written by Gorgias in about 414 BCE. Even though Helen was mostly mythology, she represented an evil woman in ancient Greece. She was the face that launched a 1000 ships and sent many Greek soldiers to their deaths as a result.

So, Gorgias, in his speech of praise, is basically saying, "Look, I'm so good, I could get Helen of Troy off the hook. Pay to have me teach you how to do the same."

The short work is meant to be an oration. So, I have tried to read it this way. You'll either think this corny or appreciate the attempt at maintaining the original intent. Press Play above to hear the speech. more...

To download the MP3 file for the Encomium on Helen, CLICK HERE.

To see Fransis Garland's translation, CLICK HERE.

 

 

 

 

 





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