Rhetoric in the "Gorgias" and "Phaedrus" Comparison Essay by SaraT

Rhetoric in the "Gorgias" and "Phaedrus"
A comparison of Socrates' treatment of rhetoric in Plato's works, the "Gorgias" and "Phaedrus."
# 112933 | 4,141 words | 10 sources | MLA | 2007 | US

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This paper discusses Plato's works, "Gorgias" and "Phaedrus." The paper looks for a development in Plato's ideas and specifically focuses on Socrates' treatment of rhetoric. It considers various critical viewpoints concerning Plato's treatment of Isocrates in the conclusion of the "Phaedrus" and then develops an argument which references this treatment when explaining what appear to be inconsistencies between the two texts. The paper contains an annotated bibliography.

Table of Contents:
Public Sparring
The Trial
Lysias and Isocrates

From the Paper:

"I agree with both McAdon and Howland's analysis that Plato is still denouncing rhetoric, and therefore specifically challenging Isocrates. However, the stylistic changes Plato makes have veiled this denunciation behind superficial compliments and the guise of supposed reform. It is likely that, given the legal difficulties Riley has posited, Plato was unable to speak as freely as he would have liked. His new school was a compromise in which he found himself forced to compete directly with rival schools. To entice students, he appears to engage rhetoric. However, he has not really given up his own methods; nor does he consider Isocrates the "tincture of hope" (319) that Goggin and Long suggest. Instead, Plato remains firmly rooted in his own dialectic, while bitterly compromising certain stylistic aspects in order to protect himself. Plato was forced to subvert his real sentiments in order to avoid additional lawsuits. This would account for the apparent changes from the Gorgias to the Phaedrus, and also explains why scholars have traditionally had trouble interpreting the Phaedrus."

Sample of Sources Used:

  • Alcidamas. Alcidamas: The Works and Fragments. Trans. J. V. Muir. London: Bristol Classical, 2001.
  • Goggin, Maureen Daly; Long, Elenore. "A Tincture of Philosophy, A Tincture of Hope: The Portrayal of Isocrates in Plato's Phaedrus." Rhetoric Review, Vol. 11, No. 2 (Spring, 1993), 301-324.
  • Howland, R. L. "The Attack on Isocrates in the Phaedrus." The Classical Quarterly, Vol. 31, No. 3/4 (Jul. - Oct., 1937), 151-159.
  • Isocrates. Isocrates. Trans. George Norlin. Loeb Classical Library. 3 Vols. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1991.
  • Kastely, James L. "Respecting the Rupture: Not Solving the Problem of Unity in Plato's Phaedrus." Philosophy and Rhetoric, Vol. 35, No. 2. (2002), 138-152.

Cite this Comparison Essay:

APA Format

Rhetoric in the "Gorgias" and "Phaedrus" (2009, March 12) Retrieved February 07, 2023, from https://www.academon.com/comparison-essay/rhetoric-in-the-gorgias-and-phaedrus-112933/

MLA Format

"Rhetoric in the "Gorgias" and "Phaedrus"" 12 March 2009. Web. 07 February. 2023. <https://www.academon.com/comparison-essay/rhetoric-in-the-gorgias-and-phaedrus-112933/>