Gorgias – Encomium of Helen

It was with Gorgias that rhetoric began its development as an art form; and to me this piece stands proudly as a paradigm of persuasion. With compelling insight into the power of spoken word and a beautifully constructed set of arguments that would provide a template for orators, speechmakers and lawyers alike for generations to come, the Encomium of Helen deserves the highest praise.

In taking on the defence of the much vilified Helen of Sparta, and dazzling his Athenian audience with his success, Gorgias proves the nature of which he speaks, turning vitriol, so to speak, into veneration – for against the power of persuasion, who can resist?