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Gorgias

Plato

Key Facts

Important Quotations Explained

Study Questions

full title  ·  Gorgias

author  ·  Plato

philosophical movement  ·  Socratic

language  ·  Ancient (Classical) Greek

time/place written  ·  Circa 385 B.C.E./Greece (this date is unknown and disputed, and most attempts at its determination are made relative to the speculated dates of other writings)

date of first publication  ·  The date of primary publication remains unclear, given both the work's age and its existence for decades as the subject of lectures within Plato's Academy prior to its formal publication. The earliest known version (a papyrus manuscript) dates from the third century of the Common Era.

publisher  ·  The Fayum (see above)

speaker  ·  Socrates (Plato tends in his dialogues to express his own views through the mouthpiece of his teacher)

form  ·  Dialogue

other participants  ·  Callicles (the host), Chaerephon (Socrates's friend), Gorgias (a famous Sophist), Polus (Gorgias's student)

setting (time)  ·  Contemporary with Plato's life (early to middle 4th century B.C.E.)

setting (place)  ·  Athens; the home of Callicles

tone  ·  Amicable, except for certain words of Callicles addressed to Socrates late in the work

point of view  ·  Third-person witness to the conversation

tense  ·  Present (dialogue)

major topics  ·  Rhetoric, politics, justice, virtue, temperance

major conflict  ·  Socrates disputes the nature of rhetoric, power, politics, justice, and the good with Gorgias, Polus, and Callicles

foreshadowing  ·  Socrates refers to a hypothetical situation of being put on trial, the treatment of which prophesies the circumstances of his imminent death

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