"I believe that I am one of the few Athenians—perhaps indeed the only one—who studies the true political art."
Taking the form of a dialogue between Socrates, Gorgias, Polus and Callicles, the Gorgias debates crucial questions about the nature of government. While the aspiring politician Callicles propounds the view that might is right, and the rhetorician Gorgias argues that oratory and the power to persuade represent "the greatest good", Socrates insists on the duty of politicians to consider the welfare of their citizens—a duty he believed had been dishonored in the Athens of his time. The dialogue offers fascinating insights into how classical Athens was governed, as well as creating a theoretical framework that has been highly influential on subsequent political debate.
Walter Hamilton's distinguished translation has been completely updated for this new edition, taking recent developments in scholarship into account. In his introduction, Chris Emlyn-Jones examines Plato's use of the dialogue form and his relationship with his teacher Socrates. This edition also includes a section-by-section commentary, a chronology, suggestions for further reading, a glossary and index.