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Gorgias’ Encomium to Helen is more of a defense than a tribute; however, in defending Helen’s actions from her accusers, Gorgias also presents a compelling argument in support of the power of words, emotions, and arguments as suasive devices. In the fictionalized encounter between Socrates and Gorgias in Plato’s Gorgias, this suasive power of rhetoric is pitted against philosophy and the search for truth. Herrick’s introduction to rhetoric, on the hand, provides a space to understand rhetoric in questions of persuasion and truth. Taken together these writings pose some serious questions about the nature of truth and the uses and abuses of persuasion. In the space below, respond to these tensions in the assigned writings.


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