PHIL 211 Waldorf University Helen of Troy Discussion

Description

part1, GORGIAS’ DEFENSE OF HELEN

Set aside the very interesting rhetorical features of Gorgias’ “Encomium to Helen”, and treat it only as an argument about Helen’s guilt or innocence. How does Gorgias propose rehabilitating Helen? How successful is he in doing so?

part 2 PERSUASION, CAUSATION, AND RESPONSIBILITY 

Aside from the second possibility that Gorgias proposes i.e. that Paris kidnapped Helen and tossed her into the boat bound for Troy – a possibility occasionally entertained in the ancient world – do any of the arguments sketched by Gorgias help in getting Helen off the hook of responsibility? Do they not succeed at all? Do they help but don’t quite do the trick perfectly, or what? All of them? Some of them? None of them?