Rhetoric has become the primary principle in the training of communicators whose sole purpose is to inform or persuade. Among the elements of persuasion, rhetoric has become an integral part of it. During the twentieth century, the emphasis shifted from the writer or speaker and now resides on the reader or auditor. Therefore, the patterns of communication are different implying that for the communicators to adequately perform their duties, they will have to adapt. Achieving that requires that the knowledge regarding rhetoric is revisited using a more practical approach. The essence of this article is to analyze the nature of rhetoric by considering the conversation between Socrates, Chaerephon, Polus and Gorgias. It is more practical to deduce this information from the conversation because it is information extracted from a conversation instead of pre-written books. Perhaps, by providing this information, this article will fulfill its purpose of creating awareness about rhetoric and its significance in communication.
Socrates and Gorgias can have a conversation and an educative one at that. Initially, when Craerephon asks Gorgias if he could interview him, Polus volunteers claiming that Gorgias is tired. However, the answers that Polus gives are broad and not concise. Socrates corrects him and asks Gorgias if he can do a better job of providing short answers that cover the scope of the question. Socrates says (Essay number two 2), Because when Chaerephon asks you what Gorgias' area of expertise is, Polus, you come out with a eulogy of it--as if someone had been running it down--instead of telling us what it is. Regarding this quotation, it is decipherable that as much as Polus is providing long answers, they are not fulfilling the requirements that Chaerephon put forth. When Gorgias decides to answer the questions himself, he provides more satisfactory answers. Even though at times he provided lengthy answers, they were descriptive and adequately covered the scope of the questions he faced.
Socrates insists on short answers because they are precise, concise and sufficient. Using lengthy answers may sometimes provide an idea about the required answers, but will mostly not provide the reader with the required information. During the conversation, Socrates posits (Essay number two 2), You certainly did, but no one asked you what qualities Gorgias' area of expertise has. The question was what it is, and what Gorgias should be called. You gave excellent, concise answers to the questions Chaerephon had previously put to you Clearly, Socrates disapproves of the lengthy answers because it directly correlates with the interest of the reader or audience. Considering that Gorgias is presumably tired, it would not be befitting to keep him there listening to long answers from Polus. Instead, the short answers give the reader exactly what he or she wanted in a short time. Moreover, the shorter answers are faster to comprehend allowing for faster persuasion and conveyance of the message.
The requirements that Socrates and Chaerephon put forth helped the nature of rhetoric by making it better than it was before. Because Socrates demanded shorter, more precise answers, Gorgias was able to provide them with the needed information within a short while. From this article, it is fathomable that rhetoric is a great element of persuasion and thus a valuable element in conveying information. The use of short direct answers can allow for faster communication in any environment.
Essay number two. Pg. 1-10.
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