the study of effective speaking and writing.
"That form of speaking which has the intention
of making an impact upon, persuading, or influencing a public audience."
are frequently used consciously in advertising and in public speeches
to create an effect.
Rhetoric may be used to present a case in the most effective
way, showing verbal dexterity. The danger of rhetoric, with its intention
to persuade, is that the speaker may "stretch" the truth and
effectively present a worthless or immoral cause.
of Rhetorical Devices
(sounds suggest meaning)
(a thing is spoken of as being that which it only resembles)
(a logical argument in three parts - two premises and a conclusion which
folows necessarily from them)
(deliberate use of words to mean the opposite of their literal meaning)
(a symbolic narrative)
(the use of clauses or phrases of equal length)
(words balanced in contrast)
(repetition of a word at the beginning of consecutive sentences)
principles of Socrates:
1. The orator
should offer a preliminary definition of the nature of his topic
2. He should divide his subject into its component parts.
principles of Cicero:
The orator ...
• must first hit upon what to say;
• then manage and marshal his discoveries, not merely in an orderly
fashion but with a discriminating eye for the exact weight of each argument;
• next go on to array them in the adornments of style;
• after that guard them in his memory;
• and in the end deliver them with effect and charm."
Skills of Rhetoric
1. ETHOS or proof deriving from the character
of the speaker himself.
the tone of the speech should establish the speaker's virtue and moral
2. PATHOS The emotions induced in the audience.
the audience begins to feel that the speaker must be right and is won
over to his side.
3. LOGICAL PROOF Demonstration of the case
by means of argument such as syllogisms, examples and maxims.
1. INTRODUCTION to put the audience in the
right frame of mind eg "Friends, Romans and countrymen..."
2. NARRATION a short statement of the facts
of the case
3. PROPOSITION the narrator states succinctly
the facts of the case.
4. DIVISION the main headings under which
the subject will be treated.
5. PROOF the orator marshals all the arguments
on his side of the case, giving points in ascending order of importance
leading to a climax. This is the core of the argument.
6. REFUTATION the orator attempts to answer
or discredit the arguments advanced against him.
b. amplification - an emphatic statement of the speaker's position,
often invoking "commonplaces" to move the audience to indignation
c. an appeal to the audience's tender feelings
The speech should appear unpremeditated and should whenever possible be
delivered from memory
Use the appropriate gestures and facial expressions - the wagging finger
of exhortation, the arms and hands spread wide in appeal...
The tone of voice may be coversational, intimate or energetic according
to subject matter, and given with varied amplification
1. PURITY and correctness of language
2. CLARITY and intelligibility
3. DECORUM and appropriateness
4. ORNAMENT, figures of speech, metaphors,
- a question which requires no answer because it expresses a truth which
cannot be denied.
Rogatio - a question to which we immediately
supply our own answer
Quaesitio - a string of questions uttered
in rapid succession for the sake of emotional emphasis
Percontatio - an enquiry in a tone of bewilderment
or amazement and allowing no satisfactory or easy reply.
of Rhetoric in practice
You may need
to download Real Audio
John F Kennedy's Inaugural Address
of the Space Race
other speeches (full text and sound files)
Luther King's speeches
Antony's speech at the Capitol (Shakespeare's Julius Caesar)
George W Bush after
the bombing of the Trade Towers
evident in advertising and in propaganda. See "The
Fatherly Leader ..."
Collins, second Gulf War 2003
Saddam Hussein second Gulf
Ariel Sharon's Gaza Strip
Obama's Victory Speech Nov 6th 2008 Transcript
Obama's Inaugural Address Jan 20th 2009 Transcript