Welcome to the LitCharts study guide on Plato's Gorgias. Created by the original team behind SparkNotes, LitCharts are the world's best literature guides.
Gorgias: Plot Summary
Gorgias: Detailed Summary & Analysis
Gorgias: Theme Wheel
Brief Biography of Plato
Historical Context of Gorgias
Other Books Related to Gorgias
- Full Title: Gorgias
- When Written: c. 380 B.C.E.
- Where Written: Athens, Greece
- Literary Period: Classical Greek
- Genre: Socratic dialogue
- Setting: 5th-century B.C.E. Athens, Greece
- Antagonist: Orators; Politicians
Extra Credit for Gorgias
Gorgias the Philosopher. The historical Gorgias was one of the founding sophists, or “wise men,” who traveled around the Hellenic world delivering oratory and providing oratorical instruction for a fee. Though Gorgias voiced criticisms of philosophy much as Plato criticized rhetoric, Gorgias authored philosophical writings himself, notably On Non-Existence, which considers the nature of being and the limits of knowledge.
Ancient Artifact. Though ancient papyrus fragments survive, the oldest surviving full manuscript which contains Gorgias—a Greek volume catalogued as the “Clarke Plato”—was commissioned by a Cappadocian bishop in 895 C.E. It is now housed in Oxford’s Bodleian Library.