ihum- litcrisis- socrates- ankur gupta

ihum- litcrisis- socrates- ankur gupta - Attitude Trumps...

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Attitude Trumps Argument Ankur Gupta TF: Joel Slotkin IHUM- Literature of Crisis 26 October 2004
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Gupta Socrates had always been a controversial figure in the ancient Greek circles, but his most controversial move was not until his defense speech, as documented by Plato in The Last Days of Socrates . In this bittersweet speech, Socrates, one of the world’s greatest thinkers, made his last stand; however, it did not have to be. Ironically, had Aristotle, Socrates’ grand-student, been alive at the time to teach Socrates’ about his famous study in rhetoric, Socrates may have lived past that judgment day. Unfortunately, this was not the case. In Plato’s depiction of Socrates’ defense speech, Socrates’ failure lay in the fact that his relatively sound rationale was completely eclipsed by the pompous and arrogant manner in which he presented it. Using a purely rhetorical analysis, where logos is rationale, ethos is credibility, and pathos is the emotional connection with the audience, Socrates does a great job with logos but fails with pathos and ethos. His reasoning throughout the speech is fairly powerful. For example, he makes an extremely valid point when he states, “And if I unintentionally have a bad influence, the correct procedure in cases of such involuntary misdemeanors is not to summon the culprit before this court, but to take him aside privately for instruction and reproof…” ( Apology 50a). Here he outlines what he feels would have been the proper corrective action, and, in doing so, evinces a bit of sympathy from the audience. However, this little bit of sympathy is dissipated due to the glaring omission of any significant amount of pathos or ethos. He fails to establish any substantial connection with his audience and, moreover, he doesn’t establish credibility. Thus, though this particular argument, like all that he made throughout the Apology , made logical sense, it ultimately failed in eliciting empathy from the audience and 2
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Gupta portraying Socrates as a credible speaker. These consequences are due in part to the fact that Socrates constantly uses a harsh tone among other detractors in his rhetoric. Socrates’ speech is riddled with several other negative qualities and thus,
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ihum- litcrisis- socrates- ankur gupta - Attitude Trumps...

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