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Socrates and Pericles, Essay Example

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Socrates –  The Greek philosopher was a Master in the development of persuasive speeches.  He used this when he wanted to change the perception of an audience’s behaviour.  He believed that this speech was made up of three components: (i) Ethos – which refers to the specific style of the speakers presentation (ii) Pathos – derived from the word empathy which means being empathetic with the audience to rally support for your cause (iii) Logos– deriving from logic and means how to appeal to the rational side of an audience and should always include evidence, proof or examples of the point being made.   Socrates also believed in the use of rhetoric termed that of ‘ dialectic syllogism’ and by asking the right questions it would lead to the determination of absolute truth.  One of the most powerful persuasive speeches being to that of Glaucon in ‘The Republic’, here Socrates jostles between questions and answers whilst delivering a powerful persuasive speech.

Pericles – Was a general and military leader in Ancient Athens. Noted for his powerful persuasive speeches from ‘ the funeral speech for the Athenian war dead’ . Pericles adopted a style that was an elevated level of oratory speech. In this way he distinguished himself from the vulgar and common talk at that time.  He always spoke in a calm and peaceful tone and yet his stance was haughty and domineering, reminiscing of a military style leader.

Socrates disliked Pericles and thought he lacked originality and said the funeral speech embodied much of the work and thought process of  Aspasia.  The Athenians however greatly admire the oratory skills of Pericles and ranked him amongst the greats in the art of persuasive speech.  Socrates will be more noted because he offered the world the concept of Logic and structure.

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