Econium of Helen

Topics: Rhetoric, Greeks, Helen Pages: 1 (289 words) Published: March 30, 2006
The text studied was "Encomium of Helen" by Gorgias. After reading the first few lines I had made an early assumption that I was not going to like this piece of writing. By the 5th paragraph or so my judgement was proven wrong for it got more interesting. To the best of my knowledge, this piece is the writer's opinion on the power of words and how they can do many things but most significantly, persuade individuals. "Speech is a powerful lord, which by means of the finest and most invisible body effects the divinest works: it can stop fear and banish grief and create joy and nurture pity. I shall show how this is the case." (8) Gorgia expresses how he feels speech may have influenced or caused Helen's voyage to Troy. This piece of literature is directly related to the study of rhetoric. First of all, rhetoric is the study of persuasion. Gorgias comments on and revisits the idea of persuasion as a form of speech several times in the text. It is described as powerful and perhaps even deceiving. Gorgias himself is using persuasion in his speech to convince us of how powerful speech actually is and what effects it is capable of having on people. The 3 sources of persuasion are used. For example, Logos is deomnstarted in the form of Gorgias exploring logical reasons for Helen's voyage to Troy. Lastly, is the fact that rhetoric studies is centered around the Greeks and in this specific piece of literature the subject is Greek history and culture. The reading is based on Helen, wife of Menelaus, King of Sparta, was abducted by Paris, which provoked war between the Greek's and Troy.
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