Inan era, which human civilization maintained no disposition of records, and hadto consider the words that spout off from inhabitants of their local communityas honesty of the purest form. The cultivationof rhetoric has led individuals from many parts of the world to succeed infinessing through the political ranks, and order sustained in the final periodsof the Before Common Era. To enumerate, Rhetoric is inducement that focusespurely on propositions of belief ratherthan reality and truthfulness, and distinctly known as the “authentic art ofpersuasiveness” to the sophists (Gorgias and his underlings), while dialectic isdistinguished as the identical to philosophers such as Plato, and Socrates.
Toillustrate, Socrates, in Gorgias seeksto unearth the true meaning behind rhetoric by engaging in discourse withGorgias to analyze his views, more so intoexposing the inexperience within his pretentious convictions, and the immoraljustifications that may occur upon use of rhetoric within society. Socratesuses short interrogations on Gorgias to help prove his notion to theinterlocutors that rhetoric is a practice that emphasizes on biased outlooksand excludes external perspectives brought upon by true knowledge as it leansto shape the viewpoint of the persuading side. Therefore, when arguing thereason for limiting Gorgias to concise replies, it can follow as elocutionbetween the two would prove no benefit to the listeners, and assist theaudience in seeing the overall view of having no concern for their outlook dueto the immorality rhetoric imparts to an audience of ignorants.Thedialectical debates between Socrates and Gorgias is an attempt to provoke oneanother and lead to the abolishment of one’s credibility from the crowd toensure a controlling position, which helps foster their plausible rationality,and for that reason, this arisesrepeatedly throughout the debate. Socrates shows to have to the upper hand inmanaging the true extent of dialectic while displaying what it can do as heconstantly tries to allure the audience with rhetorical appeals, more precisely,with the use of ethos appeal to sway Gorgias’ credibility. The involvement ofethos in Plato’s dialogue shows constant utilization throughout the entirediscussion; Socrates’ handling of ethos leads him to bring Gorgias in for questioning on what it is he truly teaches.
Asa result, this causes unease to Polus, which creates an impulse reaction tosupport his teacher, in which Polus retorts unspecified answers to thequestions Chaerephon asked. Rather, it does not go as envisioned for Polus,since the repercussions lead to Socrates using this as an approach to lureGorgias, in which Socrates counters by saying: “it certainly looks as thoughPolus is well qualified to speak, Gorgias, but he’s not doing what he promisedChaerephon he’d do” (3). Gorgias’ credibility in this instance feelsthreatened, as it creates anxiety for him among the crowd, in which he becomesobliged to answer the question for his disciple’s irrational behavior;therefore, Socrates intended to use this as a commencement test for Gorgias ashe declared rhetoric to be his field of expertise. Uponthe straightforwardness of theconversation, Socrates’ acknowledgments toward Gorgias’ replies present asarcastic element towards them in order to use him as a scapegoat for the meansof humiliation and subjugation. After having established the differences in thepersuasion that occurs with the use of rhetoric (one that causes knowledge, andthe other causes belief), Socrates lets it be known to the interlocutors thathe wants to settle what their overall debriefhas led to and to visualize his remark as if it were his future student’squeries: Youshould bear in mind our present situation and realized that I have your bestinterest at heart. It’s quite possible that there are people here in the housewith us who’d like to become students of yours ….
They might be tooembarrassed to subject you to questioning, as I put my questions, you shouldimagine that its actually they who are asking you, what will attending your courses hold for us, Gorgias?(15)The rhetoric appealcommencing in this manner would assert as Pathos.Due to Socrates accommodating his concerns with the crowd by capitalizing ontheir curiosity, which conserves the contemplation of the audience, thusestablishes excitement towards their behalf. This puts Gorgias in a scrutiny, ashe must now vigilantly respond in order to deter questioning, and pique by the viewers;more so probable attendees of his teachings. The factors leading to this discussionhave led to further expressive tones of consensus among many participantsengaged in the conversation. As demonstrated by Socrates exhibiting superlativemeasures of deciphering for he jumps into the meanings of concepts much moresharply than Gorgias does (As portrayed, he keeps Gorgias and everyone on theirtoes pondering what he recites). Gorgias on the other hand ensures his placeinto the consultation by presenting elegant acts of control and faith as he presentshis case in a more robustness fashion.
Socrates’arrangement of limiting the responses of Gorgias is a paradigm of using anopponent’s confidence in order to exploit the competitor and gain the upperhand. Seeing Gorgias optimistically, promise that he could answer any questionpresented to him as he has heard and given a solution to all enquiries ensures to Socrates that arroganceresides within him, which he will fully utilize to convey confusion andcontradict his beliefs to the crowd. As specified by Gorgias after Chaerephonquestioned him on Callicles’ remark: “He is, Chaerephon. That’s exactly what Iwas doing a short while ago, in fact, and I’ll add that for many years I’venever been faced with a question I hadn’t met before” (2).
Once Socratesoverhears this, influence motivates him to rid Gorgias of his pretentiousness,sohe can strive to have the highest virtue, and vanquish the ignorance thatplagues his persona. To ensure this, Socrates commences by asking Gorgiasundemanding questions, such as “who he is” figuratively stating what he does inthis world. Throughout the dialogue, Socrates manipulates the responses ofGorgias by reweaving and converting his overall statements into a paradox thathe must now undertake due to being incapable of rejecting his propositions;consequently, mortifying Gorgias not due to new proposals or facts but to theunrecognized self-contradiction brought upon by an ego.Thenarrative written by Plato brings to mindthe spectacle of a duel, ultimately using the opponents own potency to itsdemise, systematically placing them intoa convoluted ploy that one cannot escape. The themes Socrates establishes when deliberatelytoying with Gorgias shows the template used to guide him toward uncertainty, consequently,burlesquing the rhetorician into a state of oblivion that foreshadows theaudience viewing Gorgias’ benightment. The attentive utilization of formativelanguage brought upon by Socrates brings forth a pedestal for which he can ridhis adversaries of their ignorance and bestow them the true knowledge needed fortheir field of expertise. For this reason, his persistent desire to seek outand take on others in their imperfection through philosophical exchange shows considerationfor the widespread utilization of philosophy, and the benefit of acquiringexcellence through this practice; as genuine persuasiveness in itself is a prodigiousability which can be used for the advantageous results or inadequate benefits.