Maybe the Queen of Sparta was a Ho

Pattie Crider

WRT 225.101

Response 2

September 4, 2013


Questions Addressed by Rhetorical Theory Reading

            Two educational issues addressed by the reading assignments were, who was historically considered a rhetor, and what motivated a rhetor to give public speeches. The first question is in regard to the speakers’ expertise and practical knowledge to be considered a rhetor.  The second was determined by the type of speech an orator delivered.

Historically, rhetoric was used by those who had a “high place” in society.  These people, men to be specific, received an education and were looked at as prized persons of the community. It was a position most likely achieved by birth, which fortunately, included a solid education.  The process of learning the art of rhetoric changed when the Sophist Influence made it possible for anyone having the money, to learn how to use rhetorical speech.  This influence did more than just educate people in the art of speaking, it also taught cultural acceptance as society became more and more diverse.  Learning rhetorical skills gave people the ability to use the power of memory in general education and in practical life situations.  People were able to represent and protect themselves by applying their linguistic abilities.

Gorgias’ essay, “Encomium to Helen” is an example of how to influence an audience to reach the same conclusions as the rhetor.  Gorgias used the rhetorical techniques he learned to write a speech in order to uphold the good name of Helen of Sparta, regardless if she had been taken from her husband against her will, or willingly.  His speech supported going to war against the kidnapping prince in Asia Minor, to take back Helen.  Gorgias spoke to clear Helen of any wrong-doing, calling her “blameless” and a “victim of persuasion” who was “tricked by false words.”  The speech was very colorful, lively, and clear that Helen was indeed, a victim.  My thought after reading Gorgias speech: perhaps Paris, Prince of Troy, had a few rhetorical lessons under his belt before he began to “woo” the Queen of Sparta, using his education for a nefarious, personal agenda.

victim or ho?

victim or ho?


  1. I don’t think there was any such thing as an wholly innocent person back then lol when you consider the lifestyles they lived and hold them up to todays morals they seem to have rather enjoyed their debauchery

    • Oh they LOVED debauchery, even if they didn’t realize that one day we would find their acts mind-boggling. I can’t get over how the teachers and young students had sexual relationships and it was practically expected! WOW!

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