I came across this very interesting article in the IndianExpress yesterday on Plato's views of Sophists and how many of his ideas on them have now been offset by those of others, both contemporary to him or modern. I'll past the start here and please visit the site to read the rest.

Plato was obsessed with the Sophists. Numerous Sophists make appearances or are mentioned in the Platonic dialogues. And Plato even named many dialogues (Protagoras, Gorgias, Hippias, etc.) after Sophists. We know the names and at least a few details of some twenty-six Sophists. Although various fragments and writings and biographies and other works by and about the Sophists exist, it is because of the scale of their appearance in Plato, and Plato’s characterisation of them, that the Sophists live on in our popular imagination. And this characterisation is not at all favourable.
Plato speaks of the Sophists as predators upon rich young men, as men who commodify virtue, as mere “retailers” of virtue. They are presented as those who profit off of the difficulties of distinguishing right from wrong. And, of course, there is the impression that lives on to this day that the Sophists are counterfeit philosophers, fakes, wise-guys who deal in the duplicates of opinion, rather than in the real goods of truth.

In recent decades, the grip of Plato’s depiction has begun to loosen, in large part due to feminism. For example, Susan Jarratt published a book entitled Rereading the Sophists wherein she analogised the marginalisation of Sophists by mainstream, conservative philosophy with the marginalisation of women by mainstream, patriarchal philosophy. They were disruptive, anti-logical, relativist, and so forth. She also highlights the manner by which the teachings offered by the Sophists — specifically, training in rhetoric and the art of persuasion — were of value to the success of democracy, always under siege by oligarchic and tyrannical forces. More striking, Jarratt posits that we might see the Sophist Gorgias as a proto-feminist.