Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts




Dr. Kendall Sharp


The philosophical works o f Plato are characterized by the Socratic dialogue, the dialectical style o f conversation Socrates employs with his interlocutors. However, Plato also occasionally departs from the Socratic dialogue to experiment in genres outside his, own. The Menexenus and the Apology are two o f his works that feature ‘inserted’ genres /o f Attic oratory: the funeral oration and forensic oratory. While these two works are typically characterized as Plato parodying or criticizing oratory, this thesis examines philosophy and oratory in both the Menexenus and the Apology and argues that Plato deliberately uses Attic oratory to communicate his philosophy to the Athenians and the polls as a whole. Plato uses these genres not to parody them, but uses them in a serio­ com ic way to show that philosophy too, by means o f oratory, can be capable o f political action.



To view the content in your browser, please download Adobe Reader or, alternately,
you may Download the file to your hard drive.

NOTE: The latest versions of Adobe Reader do not support viewing PDF files within Firefox on Mac OS and if you are using a modern (Intel) Mac, there is no official plugin for viewing PDF files within the browser window.