Encomium of Helen

Topics: Rhetoric, Persuasion, Logic Pages: 2 (604 words) Published: October 5, 2005
In The Encomium of Helen Gorgias, uses his sophistic knowledge to persuade his audience into believing that Helen should not be blamed for the chaos that she is blamed for. Rhetorical figures are just about everywhere they add influence to Gorgias' speech, and allow him to not only express his ideas, but also get into the mind of the audience subliminally. Rhyming and parisosis allow Gorgias flow freely through his speech adding in persuasive information here and there that otherwise would have caused a pause or questioning. Gorgias' way with words makes the audience question and take consideration for Helen and what he calls her "misfortune".

Gorgias' prooemion and narration seems to be a antithesis because he doesn't exactly state the problem at first, he merely uses another story or example and leads into his case. He lets the audience know exactly what his purpose is and why he is going to take this shame off of Helen. He seems to prepare his audience already, influencing them before he has given his them the complete story or speech. This technique seems to "hook" the audience and already get them to question, "Who is blameworthy and who is praiseworthy?" Gorgias goes forth into telling the audience a little about Helens history, like her parents, he many suitors she had, and her passions for love. Here in the narration Gorgias arises that love and honor conquers all, which he comes to mention again later in his defense for Helen.

Gorgias states the power of the Gods and the possibility of this tragedy being predestined and predetermined by them, which Helen would have no control or idea over it happening. God is stronger than any human being and can do as he pleases therefore, even if man or woman predetermines and act God and interfere with it. And in the end God's wishes or plans can't be stopped. Gorgias himself knows the power of speech and addresses the possibility of Helen being overtaken and bewitched by the words of another. He...
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