rhetoric


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Related to rhetoric: rhetorical question, Rhetorical devices

rhetoric:

see oratoryoratory,
the art of swaying an audience by eloquent speech. In ancient Greece and Rome oratory was included under the term rhetoric, which meant the art of composing as well as delivering a speech.
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Rhetoric

 

the study of oratory and prose in general. Rhetoric as an art originated in Greece in the fifth century B.C. and was reduced to a system in the third and second centuries B.C. Roman oratory dates from the first century B.C. The greatest theoreticians of ancient rhetoric were Aristotle, Cicero, and Quintilian.

Classic rhetoric was divided into five parts: invention, arrangement, verbal expression, memorization, and delivery. Invention is the systematization of the contents and proofs of a speech. Arrangement is the division of a speech into the introduction exposition, elaboration—proofs to support one’s own point of view and refutations of the arguments of one’s opponent—and conclusion. Verbal expression is the choice and combination of words, figures of speech, and rhetorical devices and—depending on the use of these elements—the choice of the simple, middle, or high style of speech.

Classical rhetoric, which was oriented primarily toward legal and ceremonial speeches, was studied in the Middle Ages mainly for the purpose of writing letters and sermons. During the Renaissance and the period of classicism, classical rhetoric was brought to bear on all types of prose. In Russia, the classical treatment of this “pervasive” rhetoric was given by M. V. Lomonosov in A Short Handbook on Eloquence (1748). Rhetoric was part of an education in the humanities until the 19th century, when its main component—verbal expression—merged with stylistics as part of the theory of literature and the remaining components lost their practical significance. The word “rhetoric” itself has taken on the offensive connotation of pompous and empty speech.

REFERENCES

Cicero. Tri traktata ob oratorskom iskusstve. Moscow, 1972.
Antichnye teorii iazyka i stilia. Edited by O. Freidenberg. Moscow-Leningrad, 1936.
Lausberg, H. Handbuch der literarischen Rhetorik, vols. 1-2. Munich, 1960.
Martin, J. Antike Rhetorik. Munich, 1974.

M. L. GASPAROV

References in classic literature ?
But when he heard the rowdies in the streets singing the love- songs of Abelard to Heloise, the case was too plain--love-songs come not properly within the teachings of rhetoric and philosophy.
Three days, at white heat, completed his narrative; but when he had copied it carefully, in a large scrawl that was easy to read, he learned from a rhetoric he picked up in the library that there were such things as paragraphs and quotation marks.
Perplexed and troubled at his bad success The Tempter stood, nor had what to reply, Discovered in his fraud, thrown from his hope So oft, and the persuasive rhetoric That sleeked his tongue, and won so much on Eve, So little here, nay lost.
In appearance and rhetoric he was old-fashioned, but in imagination and knowledge and resource he was as young as the latest statute.
And so keenly did men feel the human interests of such things as were now taught, that we have come to call grammar, rhetoric, poetry, Greek and Latin the Humanities, and the professor who teaches these thing the professor of Humanity.
And there are no teachers in the higher sense of the word; that is to say, no real teachers who will arouse the spirit of enquiry in their pupils, and not merely instruct them in rhetoric or impart to them ready- made information for a fee of 'one' or of 'fifty drachms.
Too often, however, Byron's passion and facility of expression issue in bombast and crude rhetoric.
What is called eloquence in the forum is commonly found to be rhetoric in the study.
From Cicero and Quintilian and from Aristotle's Rhetoric we learn that the Sophist whom Plato has made so ridiculous was a man of note whose writings were preserved in later ages.
It is a conversion of all nature into the rhetoric of thought, under the eye of judgment, with a strenuous exercise of choice.
Blifil suffered himself to be overpowered by the forcible rhetoric of the squire; and it being agreed that Western should close with Allworthy that very afternoon, the lover departed home, having first earnestly begged that no violence might be offered to the lady by this haste, in the same manner as a popish inquisitor begs the lay power to do no violence to the heretic delivered over to it, and against whom the church hath passed sentence.
Tulliver, shocked at this sanguinary rhetoric, "how can you talk so, Mr.