(redirected from rhetorical)
Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Legal, Idioms, Wikipedia.
Related to rhetorical: rhetorical question, Rhetorical devices


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.
..... Click the link for more information.



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.


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.


References in periodicals archive ?
Hence a rhetorical question as discourse element performs a number of functions in discourse.
By drawing attention to the different meanings, and levels of meaning, that reside within public memory places and exceed their borders, reframing rhetoric as holographic allows us to attend to rhetorical "wholes" in a way that better emphasizes multiplicity, difference, and fragmentation, (p.
If we took it seriously, it could significantly enrich rhetorical theory, research, pedagogy, and reflective practice.
But I have just spent several days reading and scoring some of my colleagues' portfolios in which I saw far less rhetorical awareness.
Part 3 can be thought of as the book's transition from uncovering Shakespeare's rhetorical heritage to integrating this reading with Shakespeare's physical and social dramatic contexts.
In this passage Palmer begins chanting the Credo of Rhetorical Theory.
They used the punctuation marks and cue phrases (Marcu, 2000) (words that connect two or more text spans) to define the rhetorical relations.
These run the risk of giving the students key words to include in essays, without their fully understanding or appreciating the history or subtleties of rhetorical analysis.
Lucas discuss the rhetorical presidency more broadly, offering their own views of the construct's meaning and validity.
McQuarrie and Mick write that rhetorical figures can enhance ad recall and produce more positive attitudes.
Beginning with the assertion that "[t]he mechanics of collecting--observing, selecting, naming, and cataloguing--constitute a poetic and rhetorical principle that [.
The central section of Clark's book is composed of three essays that seek to place these plays within the cultural and social narrative through a careful attention to rhetorical strategies: the use of chiasmus, the interpretive force of aphorisms, and the reciprocal reflexivity that allows for manipulation of audience expectation.