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THE ART OF

RHETORIC

INTRODUCTION
Rhetoric was an essential part of a liberal education
from the days of Aristotle all the way up to the early
20th century.
A well-educated man was expected to write and speak
effectively and persuasively.

From ancient times up through the early 20th century,


men believed learning the art of rhetoric was a noble pursuit
nd considered it an essential element of a well-rounded education

They saw rhetoric as a vital tool to teach truth


more effectively and as a weapon to protect themselves
from those who argued unfairly and for nefarious purposes.

Why Study Rhetoric?


Magnifies your influence as a man.
Makes you a better citizen.
Protects you from intellectual despotism.
Makes you a savvy consumer.
Empowers you for rigorous and constructive debate
(and grants insight on what constitutes one).

A BRIEF HISTORY
Rhetoric in Ancient Greece: The Sophists

wasnt until the rise of Greek democracy that rhetoric became a high art
that was studied and developed systematically.

ns success and influence in ancient Athens depended on his rhetorical a

onsequently, small schools dedicated to teaching rhetoric began to form.


The first of these schools began in the 5th century B.C.
among an itinerant group of teachers called the Sophists.

e Sophists focused on style and presentation even at the expense of tru

Rhetoric in Ancient Greece: Aristotle and The Art of Rhetori

n his treatise, The Art of Rhetoric, Aristotle established a system


of understanding and teaching rhetoric.

Aristotle defines rhetoric as


the faculty of observing in any given case
the available means of persuasion.

Rhetoric in Ancient Rome: Cicero

ors and writers in ancient Rome depended more on stylistic flouris


eting stories, and compelling metaphors and less on logical reason
than their ancient Greek counterparts.

rding to Cicero, to be persuasive a man needed knowledge in histo


politics, art, literature, ethics, law, and medicine.

By being liberally educated, a man would be able to connect with


any audience he addressed.

Rhetoric in Ancient Rome: Quintilian

n 95 AD, Quintilian immortalized his rhetorical education system


in a twelve-volume textbook entitled Institutio Oratoria.

Quintilian devotes much of his treatise to fleshing out


and explaining the Five Canons of Rhetoric.

style
arrangem
ent

invention

memory

The
Five
Canon
s

delivery

Rhetoric in Medieval Times and the Renaissance

g the Middle Ages, rhetoric shifted from political to religious disco

ng the latter part of the Medieval period, universities began formin


France, Italy, and England where students took classes on
grammar, logic, and rhetoric.

Like the arts and sciences, the study of rhetoric experienced


a re-birth during the Renaissance period.

ssance scholars began producing new treatises and books on rhet


many of them emphasizing applying rhetorical skill in ones own
vernacular as opposed to Latin or ancient Greek.

Rhetoric in the Modern Day

emocratic ideals spread throughout Europe and the American colon


rhetoric shifted back from religious to political discourse.

cal philosophers and revolutionaries used rhetoric as a weapon in


campaign to spread liberty and freedom.

in photography, film, and TV have become powerful tools of persu


n response, rhetoricians have expanded their repertoire to include
not only mastery of the written and spoken word,
but a grasp of the visual arts as well.

THE THREE MEANS OF


PERSUASION

f the modes of persuasion furnished by the spoken word there are three

e first kind depends on the personal character of the speaker;


second on putting the audience into a certain frame of mind;
third on the proof, or apparent proof, provided by the words of
speech itself.

ETHOS PATHOS LOGOS

ETHOS

or Aristotle, a speakers ethos consists of appearing knowledgeable


out the topic hes speaking about and being a man of good charac

An orator should spend the first part of his speech


establishing his credibility.

Establishing the ETHOS

Refere to your expertise on the subject.


DO NOT BRAG. (Downplay your accomplishments.)
BE MODEST!

Establish common ground by acknowledging


shared values or beliefs.

Living a life of virtue is perhaps


the best way to develop ethos.

PATHOS: The Appeal to Emotion

n a "battle" between emotion and rationality, emotion usually wins

ychologist Jonathan Haidt created a powerful metaphor that depic


the tension between our emotional and rational side:
The Elephant and the Rider.

Establishing the PATHOS

Metaphors and storytelling are powerful tools of persuasion.

People are more likely to remember stories than facts


because stories tap into our emotions.

You can also call upon several figures of speech


that are designed to provoke
an emotional response.

Metaphor: Figure of explication occurring when a comparison mad

by speaking of one thing in terms of another;


an association between two unlike things (A vs. B) achieved
borrowing the language that refers to thing A and applying it to thin

Martin Luther King, I Have a Dream

Al Gore, Oklahoma Bombing Memorial Address

Anaphora - repetition of the initial word(s) over


successive phrases or clauses.

Hillary Clinton, 1996 Democratic National Convention Address

Robert F. Kennedy, Announcing the death of Martin Luther King

Anadiplosis

Figure of repetition that occurs when the last word or terms in one sentence,
clause, or phrase is/are repeated at or very near the beginning
of the next sentence, clause, or phrase.

onduplicatio

gure of repetition in which the key word or words in one phrase,


ause, or sentence is/are repeated at or very near the beginning of
uccessive sentences, clauses, or phrases.

obert F. Kennedy, Impromptu remarks on the assassination of Martin Luther King,

thesis

e of balance in which two contrasting ideas are intentionally juxtap


y through parallel structure;
trasting of opposing ideas in adjacent phrases, clauses, or sentenc

Martin Luther King, Jr., I Have a Dream


Richard M. Nixon, Inaugural Address

Epistrophe

Figure of repetition that occurs when the last word or set of word
in one sentence, clause, or phrase is repeated one or more times
at the end of successive sentences, clauses, or phrases.

LOGOS: The Appeal to Reason

In The Art of Rhetoric, Aristotle states that appealing to reason


ans allowing the words of the speech itself to do the persuad

YLLOGISM is a kind of logical argument in which one propositio

he conclusion) is inferred from two or more others (the premises)


of a specific form.
All men are mortal.
Socrates is a man.
Therefore, Socrates is mortal.

An argument is sound if:


the argument is valid
all of its premises are true.
A valid argument is one that has a conclusion
that necessarily follows the premises.

All men are mortal.


Socrates is mortal.
Therefore, Socrates is a man.

Why is this a weak argument?

FALLACIES
Fallacy is a pattern of poor reasoning which appears to be
(and in this sense mimics) a pattern of good reasoning.

Examples:

An ad hominem argument is any that attempts to counter anothers claims


r conclusions by attacking the person, rather than addressing the argument itsel
Argument from authority

The basic structure of such arguments is as follows:


Professor X believes A, Professor X speaks from authority, therefore A is true.

1. INVENTION

Discovering the best available means of persuasion.

evidence

facts
statistics
etc.

audienc
e

means
of
persuasi
on

Things
to
consid
er:

timing

format of argument
organize in concrete
thesis

Stasis is a procedure designed to help a rhetorician


develop and clarify the main points of his argument.

Topics of invention
Help a writer or speaker find relationships among ideas,
which in turn helps organize his thoughts into a solid argument.

Definitions, Comparison, Cause and Effect, Circumstance

2. ARRANGEMENT

Introduction
Statement of Facts
Division
Proof
Refutation
Conclusion

3. STYLE

Correctness
Clarity
Evidence
Propriety
Ornateness

style
arrangem
ent

invention

memory

The
Five
Canon
s

delivery

4. MEMORY

LOCI technique

5. DELIVERY

The canon of delivery is concerned with HOW something is said.

For ancient orators, delivery meant how a speaker


used his body language and hand gestures and
how he changed his tone of voice during his oration.

Master the pause.


Watch your body language.
Vary your tone.
Let gestures flow naturally.
Match your speed with your emotion.
Vary the force of your voice.
Look your audience in the eye.