Gorgias, Plato
Gorgias
Plato
4:16 h Ideas Lvl 10.43
Gorgias is a Socratic dialogue written by Plato around 380 BC. The dialogue depicts a conversation between Socrates and a small group of sophists (and other guests) at a dinner gathering. Socrates debates with the sophist seeking the true definition of rhetoric, attempting to pinpoint the essence of rhetoric and unveil the flaws of the sophistic oratory popular in Athens at the time. The art of persuasion was widely considered necessary for political and legal advantage in classical Athens, and rhetoricians promoted themselves as teachers of this fundamental skill. Some, like Gorgias, were foreigners attracted to Athens because of its reputation for intellectual and cultural sophistication. Socrates suggests that he is one of the few Athenians to practice true politics (521d).

Gorgias

by
Plato


Gorgias

Persons of the dialogue:
Callicles;

Socrates;

Chaerephon;

Gorgias;

Polus

Scene: The house of Callicles

Callicles. The wise man, as the proverb says, is late for a fray, but not for a feast.

Socrates. And are we late for a feast?

Callicles. Yes, and a delightful feast; for Gorgias has just been exhibiting to us many fine things.

Socrates. It is not my fault, Callicles; our friend Chaerephon is to blame; for he would keep us loitering in the Agora.

Chaerephon. Never mind, Socrates; the misfortune of which I have been the cause I will also repair; for Gorgias is a friend of mine, and I will make him give the exhibition again either now, or, if you prefer, at some other time.

Callicles. What is the matter, Chaerephon — does Socrates want to hear Gorgias?

Chaerephon. Yes, that was our intention in coming.

Callicles. Come into my house, then; for Gorgias is staying with me, and he shall exhibit to you.

Socrates. Very good, Callicles; but will he answer our questions? for I want to hear from him what is the nature of his art, and what it is which he professes and teaches; he may, as you [Chaerephon] suggest, defer the exhibition to some other time.

Callicles. There is nothing like asking him, Socrates; and indeed to answer questions is a part of his exhibition, for he was saying only just now, that any one in my house might put any question to him, and that he would answer.

Socrates. How fortunate! will you ask him, Chaerephon — ?

Chaerephon. What shall I ask him?

Socrates. Ask him who he is.

Chaerephon. What do you mean?

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