How Is The Power Of Images Used In Encomium Of Hel

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Many people are impressed by Gorgias’ talents and the power of rhetoric displayed in Encomium of Helen. The 3 page speech seems to free Helen from the accusation of causing Trojan War for thousands of years. However, is it really the power of speech? Or is the use of images in this more powerful in pursuing the audiences? In this article, we will look closely at Gorgias’ use of images and speeches in Helen. In Encomium of Helen, Gorgias has used many images as common places to strength his argument. He has used power of god, power of the strong over the weak, power of persuasion and power of love. In his use of power of god and fate, he says “God is a stronger force than man in might and in wit and in other ways.” What I want emphasis is that the impression of god overpowers everything is not established through his speech. It is an idea implanted in many of us, especially the religious people, through our own personal experience. When we look deeper at this idea, we realize that for most people, they have never seen such a divine figure in their life before. And thus through the reading of books, holy bible, movies and from what other people tell them, an image of god is formed in their mind. An interesting survey has showed that 90 percent of people being asked will say that god is a “powerful western old man with glowing light around him ”. How is it possible for people to know the appearance of god when they have never seen him? The description they gave is exactly what was described in the holy bible. One believes what he sees. And an image is created for god when he cannot be seen. This first argument by Gorgias is hence empowered by the image of god which is already implanted in the mind of the audiences. Gorgias himself also agreed on the power of image in his argument about love. In his argument, “the sight engraves upon the mind images of things
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