At the heart of Gorgias’ explanation of Helen’s decision to go to Troy there is a seeming paradoxical claim: persuasion is a form of compulsion and it does not differ from violence. According to Gorgias, however, persuasion, is the result of a complex interaction between speech, belief and soul. Persuasive speech, in fact, reconfigures the structure of the soul and leads a listener to act in a certain way (as in the case of Helen). The power of speech to act upon the soul of listeners then depends on its capacity to change their beliefs. From this point of view, the soul is passive and seems submitted to the active and coercive power of speech and persuasion, because the force of persuasion on beliefs is necessary. After all, we can’t decide what to believe. But, this is only the half of the story. As it is clearly shown in paragraph 13, Gorgias thinks about an agonistic model of the functioning of speech within which disagreement and opposition appear to be the elements of a struggle for predominance, where one logos opposes another logos and tries to get the upper hand. One may escape the power of logos by opposing to it a stronger one. Helen’s Encomium, is, in this way, meant as a provocation for listeners, to realize that they are not supposed to accept the conclusion of defense, but that they instead are supposed to reflect upon it – and thereby, producing an alternative and more convincing logos, performing a model of self and agency that Helen does not. In a democratic city, where logos and power are closely related, that seems to be the best way to achieve an active citizenship.
|Titolo:||Perché Elena andò a Troia? Identità, linguaggio e responsabilità nella cultura greca|
|Data di pubblicazione:||2016|
|Appare nelle tipologie:||2.1.2 Articolo su libro con ISBN|