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The Art of Rhetoric

The Art of Rhetoric

Rhetoric was developed by Aristotle in the fifth century, but remains pertinent today. Writers, speakers, and anyone who wants to convey a message needs to understand and master elements of rhetoric.

 

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Angela Hart

Angela Hart

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Alliteration: repetition of the same sound beginning several words in sequence.
*Let us go forth to lead the land we love. J. F. Kennedy, Inaugural
*Viri validis cum viribus luctant. Ennius
*Veni, vidi, vici. Julius Caesar
Anacoluthon: lack of grammatical sequence; a change in the grammatical construction within the same sentence.
*Agreements entered into when one state of facts exists -- are they to be maintained regardless of changing conditions? J. Diefenbaker
Anadiplosis: ("doubling back") the rhetorical repetition of one or several words; specifically, repetition of a word that ends one clause at the beginning of the next.
*Men in great place are thrice servants: servants of the sovereign or state; servants of fame; and servants of business. Francis Bacon
*Senatus haec intellegit, consul videt; hic tamen vivit. Vivit? Immo vero etiam in senatum venit. Cicero, In Catilinam
*Aeschines 3.133
Anaphora: the repetition of a word or phrase at the beginning of successive phrases, clauses or lines.
*We shall not flag or fail. We shall go on to the end. We shall fight in France, we shall fight on the seas and oceans, we shall fight with growing confidence and growing strength in the air, we shall defend our island, whatever the cost may be, we shall fight on the beaches, we shall fight on the landing grounds, we shall fight in the fields and in the streets, we shall fight in the hills. We shall never surrender. Churchill.
*Nihil agis, nihil moliris, nihil cogitas, quod non ego non modo audiam, sed etiam videam planeque sentiam. Cicero, In Catilinam
*Lysias, Against Eratosthenes 21
*Demosthenes, On the Crown 48
Anastrophe: transposition of normal word order; most often found in Latin in the case of prepositions and the words they control. Anastrophe is a form of hyperbaton.
*The helmsman steered; the ship moved on; yet never a breeze up blew. Coleridge, The Rime of the Ancient Mariner
*Isdem in oppidis, Cicero
*Demosthenes, On the Crown 13

Article: Glossary of Rhetorical Te...
Source: Modern and Classical, Lan...
Angela Hart

Angela Hart

41 Knowledge Cards 

Alliteration is only one example of rhetoric. There are many literary methods to utlize the art of rhetoric. 

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Socrates: The fact is, as we said at the beginning of our discussion, that the aspiring speaker needs no knowledge of the truth about what is right or good... In courts of justice no attention is paid whatever to the truth about such topics; all that matters is plausibility... There are even some occasions when both prosecution and defence should positively suppress the facts in favor of probability, if the facts are improbable. Never mind the truth -- pursue probability through thick and thin in every kind of speech; the whole secret of the art of speaking lies in consistent adherence to this principle.
 
Phaedrus: That is what those who claim to be professional teachers of rhetoric actually say, Socrates.
--Plato, Phaedrus 272

Article: Glossary of Rhetorical Te...
Source: Modern and Classical, Lan...

The rescue of rhetoric from its imperilled position in the academy, a redemption of rhetoric from its status as a practical, instrumental art, and a more systematic treatment of rhetorical processes of invention, David Kaufer and Brian Buffer promise us. They try to make good on their word by arguing that rhetoric is a member of the family of arts "associated with modern design" such as engineering, architecture, graphics, and computer science. Defining rhetoric as a productive design art, they argue, corrects the image of rhetoric as a misfit - either too practical for the liberal arts or too liberal for the practical arts (12)...

Article: Rhetoric and the Arts of ...
Source: Argumentation and Advocac...

Concerned with practical reasoning (phronesis), the sophists found themselves at one end of the same teleological conflict facing contemporary rhetorical theory--the relationship between rhetoric, power, and truth (see Copleston, 1985, pp. 82-84). While history texts can debate the degree of Plato's influence in containing the sophists, his successor rightly returned to rhetoric as an important element of political community...

Article: Rhetoric and Power: Rethi...
Source: Argumentation and Advocac...
Angela Hart

Angela Hart

41 Knowledge Cards 

Rhetoric can lead to power; some college classes try to prove the correlation between money, power, and communication. 

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As a field of study, rhetoric has seen its position within the broader range of scholarship vary greatly in its lengthy history. Saddled with Plato's legacy, rhetoric has been historically conceived as a "hand maiden" to the truth, a discursive aid for enlightening the unenlightened. In the last several decades, our field has offered a reversal of this relationship...

Article: Rhetoric and Power: Rethi...
Source: Argumentation and Advocac...

Technical Communication Is a Subset of Rhetoric. Rhetoric involves creating human discourse, ranging from formal to informal, verbal to nonverbal, spoken to written. Human discourse includes thought, language, communication, and purposive action...

Article: Rhetoric and the collabor...
Source: Technical Communication
Angela Hart

Angela Hart

41 Knowledge Cards 

Rhetoric can be seen in a variety of ways. This source names several modern day interpretations of rhetoric, demonstrating it's importance in the modern day world.

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Since rhetoric is the art of human discourse, rhetoric forms the theoretical base for the field of technical communication. As a subset of rhetoric, technical communication has its distinguishing characteristics. This column outlines those characteristics through a series of principles for a rhetoric of technical communication, identifying as distinctive the organizational and collaborative nature of the field...

Article: Rhetoric and the collabor...
Source: Technical Communication

Rhetorical devices and literary techniques are closely related to tone and style. In fact, an author’s style partly consists of selecting and using certain devices; an author’s tone is partially determined by the type of techniques an author uses.

Article: SparkNotes: Reading Passa...
Source: Sparknotes
Angela Hart

Angela Hart

41 Knowledge Cards 

Tone can be very important when delivering a message. When a speaker wants to convey emotion, they may raise their voice, speak slower for impact, change their pitch, or more. Also, adding physical elements in terms of body language and hand guesters can be important. For example, when a speaker points at the audience it can be a challenge to them or a way for them to feel more involved.

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Rhetoric is not just empty words or fine political speeches. Rhetoric is the study and art of writing and speaking well, being persuasive, and knowing how to compose successful writing and presentations. Rhetoric teaches us the essential skills of advanced leaning and higher education. In Rhetoric classes, students learn to think logically, to discover wrong or weak arguments, to build a good case on a controversial topic, and to overcome the all-too-common fear of speaking in public so that they can deliver crisp and well-prepared speeches.

Rhetoric is a fundamental building block of good education, whether it is followed by studies of Engineering, English or Entomology. Clear thinking, good argument, and logical discussion are essential to academic student success in any discipline and field. The better the essays you write, the better your grade. The stronger the presentations you make, the greater your academic success. The more you understand how to criticize and analyze what you read and study in Music, Mathematics or the Modern Languages, the stronger your education.

Article: What is Rhetoric?
Source: What is Rhetoric? | Depar...

Rhetoric Today
The field of Rhetoric examines how and why certain messages, images, or modes of communication (what we call "rhetoric") moves audiences. Why, for example, does a song become a hit at a particular moment in history? Or why does one presidential candidate's speech send ripples through the nation while another's falls flat? Or why does an image—like the face Che Guevara—circulate across publics and take on various meanings, like freedom, revolution, or radical chic?

Article: Rhetoric Today
Source: Rhetoric Today | Departme...

The practice and teaching of rhetoric in ancient Greece and Rome from roughly the fifth century B.C. to the early Middle Ages.

Though rhetorical studies began in Greece in the fifth century B.C., the practice of rhetoric began much earlier with the emergence of Homo sapiens. Rhetoric became a subject of academic study at a time when ancient Greece was evolving from an oral culture to a literate one.

Article: classical rhetoric
Source: classical rhetoric - defi...
Angela Hart

Angela Hart

41 Knowledge Cards 

Although the concept of rhetoric was founded in the fifth century, it is still pertinent today; the idea of rhetoric has transcended time. 

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