Spring 2006, pages 171 - 180
Testing and Contesting Classical Rhetorics
This essay argues that classical Greek rhetoric was informed by the ethic of competition and the aesthetic of exhibition and performance. It proposes that this rhetoric can be profitably studied in the terms of the Sophistical, Platonic, Isocratean, and Aristotelian perspectives. The essay recalls the author's early experiences with rhetoric and articulates the logic of his Sophistical Rhetoric in Classical Greece. At the same time, it promises a theatrical play (in the spirit of Plato's Symposium) that illustrates the four perspectives.