The rhetoric (of the old Greek ῥητορικὴ / rhêtorikề '', “technique/art of public speaking”), indicating with the clean direction “the art of good speech”, is art or the technique to persuade, generally by means of the Langage. Rhetoric is at the same time science (within the meaning of structured study) and the art (within the meaning of practice resting on a tested knowledge) which refers to the action of the speech on the spirits. With its beginnings, rhetoric dealt with the oral political discourse before being interested in a more general way in the written texts and especially in the texts. The terms “rhetoric” or “Sophistique” are often used with a pejorative direction, when one wishes to oppose the hollow words of the action, or to separate information from the Désinformation, the Propagande, or to qualify doubtful forms of pseudo-argumentative speech.
History of rhetoric
See also: History of rhetoric
Rhetoric forever be abandoned with the length of the history. But, according to the times, it had quite different statutes. By strongly schematizing his evolution, one can say that it constantly oscillated between a social design and a formal design and that it ended up dying in the 19th century, before reappearing, in a spectacular way at the 20th century.
The social design is that which put mainly on the speech in public and the controversy (philosophical and political especially). This design of rhetoric was especially defended during Antiquity by the Sophistes, Démosthène, Cicéron and Quintilien. Formal approach focusing itself, it, on the discursive techniques, and in particular on those which elocution studied (see Ramus, Dumarsais, Pierre Fontanier, Gerard Genette, the Groupe µ inter alia). As of low Antiquity, indeed, following the disappearance of the ancient city, the political office of rhetoric was lost: the eloquence loses its statute of political instrument to become simple end sought in itself. It is conceived that rhetoric is then reduced to the study ornaments concerned with the elocutio . This is why the social approach of rhetoric tends to maintain intact the opposition between rhetoric and Poétique, the second to abolish it seeing in the two disciplines studies of the structures of the texts and speech.
One can note in parallel that gradually, each part of the large conceptual building which it constituted took its independence, so much in the field of the theoretical disciplines than in that of the practical disciplines. On a side, the refinement of the mechanisms of demonstration led to the formal logic . Mnemotechnical art became autonomous and separated from rhetoric. The Linguistic and more precisely the Stylistic or the Pragmatique took again the relay of many analyzes of rhetoric.
Rhetoric among GreeksIn the Antiquité rhetoric was interested in persuasion in public and political contexts, like the assemblies and the courts. For this reason, it developed in the open companies and Démocratique S with rights of free Expression, free meeting, and political rights for part of the population.
It is the first of the seven arts to be controlled in the school course of the world gréco-Roman like the Grammaire, the Dialectique, the Géométrie, the Arithmétique, the Astronomie and the Musique. The theorists of rhetoric (Anaximène, Aristote, Démétrios, Cicéron, Quintilien, Hermagoras, Hermogène, others still) formalized the discipline, as well on the practical level as on the theoretical level.
As of the origins, rhetoric had a practical slope and a theoretical and philosophical slope. On a side, it was constituted in whole of receipts being placed at the disposal of the speaker or the writer. But, very early, one warned oneself that it mobilized theoretical questions of first importance. Indeed, it locates its action in the world of possible and the probable one. " She comes to a conclusion about the opinion, not on the being; she has her source in a theory of the knowledge which is based on the probable one ( eikos ), the plausible one and the probable one, not on truth ( alethes ) and the certainty logique." By dealing with the vast domain of the feelings, of the opinions, rhetoric puts questions like credibility, the Commonplace or the obviousness, that the sociology or sciences of the speech will assume thereafter.
Rhetoric as an autonomous discipline was born towards 465 before J. - C in ancient Greece when two sicilian tyrants, Gelon and Hiéron, exproprièrent and off-set the populations of the island of Syracuse for the people of mercenaries to their balance. The natives of Syracuse raised themselves democratically and wanted to return in a former state of the things, which leads to innumerable lawsuits of property. These lawsuits mobilized large jurys in front of which it was necessary to be eloquent. This eloquence became quickly object of teaching exempted by Empédocle of Agrigente, Corax and Tisias (to which is allotted the first handbook), teaching which was transmitted in Attique by the tradesmen who pled jointly in Syracuse and Athens.
Rhetoric was then made popular at the fifth century before Jesus-Christ by known itinerant professors under the name of Sophiste S who gave courses of rhetoric (in particular). The central object of their concern was the " Logos " or in a general way all that had to see with the Discours. They defined the part of speech, analyzed poetry, distinguished the synonyms, invented strategies of argumentation. Their end was indeed to make it possible to include/understand the types of speech and the modes of expression more adequate to convince their audience and to reach the highest places in the city. " The Sophists address themselves to whoever wants to acquire the necessary superiority to triumph in the arena politique".
The large most famous sophists were Protagoras, Gorgias, Prodicos, one of the first studied the language and grammar, and Hippias d' Élis, a true alive encyclopedia which claimed all to know. Protagoras is regarded as the father of eristic, the art of the controversy. Its teaching rests on the idea that on any question, one can support two contrary theses. Gorgias was especially known for the work of the style of its texts epidictic. It develops a true prose of art to replace the metric one and the musical quality of the worms.
The largest Greek rhetor was undoubtedly Démosthène. He engages quickly in the policy and attacks hard Philippe of Macedonia in his Philippiques . Art rhetoric of Démosthène is nothing less than orthodoxe. Its speeches upset the traditional order of the parts of speech (exorde, narration, proof and epilog). He plays much of the metaphors, comparisons and other paradoxes. Especially, it counts on the changes of tone, sometimes familiar, sometimes solemn, sometimes exploiting the feelings, sometimes calm and posed. He does not hesitate to handle his public, inveighing it or questioning it in turn.
Rhetoric among Romans
The Romans among whom the art of public speaking had become an important part of the public life, held the Greek rhéteurs in so great regard which they engaged some of them in their schools. Roman rhetoric thus rests largely on Greek bases although she preferred a practical approach with theoretical and speculative reflections. Cicéron (106-43 before JC) and Quintilien (35-100) was the two Roman rhéteurs most important and their work falls under the line of Isocrate, Plato and Aristote.
Although not very known at the time Roman, the Rhétorique in Herennius (sometimes allotted to Cicéron although undoubtedly wrongly) is one of the first texts of Latin rhetoric. Its author was probably a Latin rhetor of the Island of Rhodes and first time a systematic analysis of the elocutio and particularly of the three styles (simple, average and sublime). The Rhétorique in Herennius provides an outline of the beginnings of Latin rhetoric and with the Middle Ages and the Rebirth it was largely published and used like a basic handbook of rhetoric.
CicéronThat he wrote or not the Rhetorica in Herennius , Cicéron, beside Quintilien (the most influential professor of rhetoric Roman) is regarded as the Roman rhetor most important. Its work includes Of Inventione oratoria , Of Oratore (a complete treaty of the principles of rhetoric in dialogued form), Topics (a treaty rhetoric of the commonplaces whose influence was very large with the Rebirth), the Brutus (a dialog on the most famous rhéteurs) and the Orator (a defense of the style of Cicéron).
Cicéron left a great number of speeches and letters which pose the bases of the Latin eloquence for the generations to come. It was the redécouverte speeches of Cicéron (like the defense of Archias) and of its letters (in Atticus) by Italian scholars and writers such Pétrarque which was at the origin of the cultural movement of the Rebirth.
QuintilienThe fame of Quintilien is very large since Antiquity. Its career started like litigant in a court. Its reputation grew as much as Vespasien created a pulpit of rhetoric for him in Rome. The most point of the work of its life was Institutio oratoria , a long treaty where he discusses the drive to be an accomplished rhetor and counts the doctrines and opinions of many large rhéteurs who preceded it.
In the Institutes oratoria , Quintilien shows the organization necessary of the studies of rhetoric which a future speaker must follow. The first phase starts with the training of the language which must be assured by nurses being expressed in an impeccable language. The second phase (as from 7 years) rests on the training at the grammaticus of the reading, of discovered poetry, it makes draftings (like telling fables). The third phase begins around 14 years. It is a question of discovering rhetoric by writing narrations (panegyrical elementary, parallel) and declamationes or speech on hypothetical cases.
The drafting of speech within a teaching framework or to involve itself was spread and popularized under the name of “declamation”. The various phases of the drive rhetoric in itself were five and were followed during centuries:
- Inventio (invention)
- the dispositio (provision, or structure)
- the elocutio (style and Stylistic device)
- the memoria (training by heart of the speech and mnemotechnical art)
- the Actio (recitation of the speech).
Quintilien tries to describe not only art rhetoric but also the training of the perfect speaker like a politically active and concerned citizen of the public thing. Its setting in front of the application of the drive rhetoric in the real life testifies to a nostalgia for the time when rhetoric was an important political instrument and partly a reaction against the increasing tendency in the Roman schools of rhetoric to separate the school exercises and the real legal practice.
Although in general he is not regarded as a rhetor Saint Augustin (354-430) had received a training in rhetoric and was a time professor of Latin rhetoric. After its conversion with the Christianity, it was interested in pagan arts in order to diffuse its new religion. This new use of rhetoric is studied in the fourth book of De Doctrina Christiana which poses the bases of what will become the homélitique one, the rhetoric of the Sermon.
Rhetoric with the Middle Ages
Rhetoric with the Rebirth
One of the central figures in the rebirth of traditional rhetoric was Érasme (c.1466-1536). Its work, De Duplici Copied Verborum and Rerum (1512), knew more than 150 pullings through all Europe and became one of the basic handbooks on the subject. Its treatment of rhetoric is less wide than that of the traditional works of Antiquity but provides a traditional analysis of the “LMBO-verba” (of the matter and the shape of the text). Its first book treats elocutio showing with the students how to use the tropes and commonplaces. The second recovers the inventio. He insists largely on the variation so that the two books insist on the manner of introducing the largest variety into the text. the Praise of the Madness also had a considerable influence on the teaching of rhetoric at the end of the 16th century. Its plea in favor of a quality such as the madness was at the origin of a popular exercise in the schools of grammar élisabéthaine, named later adoxography, which requires pupils to speak in praise of useless things.
French rhetoric to the XVIII and 19th century
César Chesneau Dumarsais was the largest French specialist in rhetoric.
Pierre Fontanier was a Grammairien French. He is the author of two handbooks which count and study in a systematic way the Stylistic devices. These two works formed the base of the teaching of rhetoric in France at the 19th century. It is about the traditional Manuel for the study of the tropes (1821) and Of the figures other than tropes (1827) inseparable one from the other. Fallen in disuse at the 20th century, works of Fontanier knew a renewal of favor since 1968, when Gerard Genette republished them at Flammarion . the Figures of the speech constitutes the result of French rhetoric. the Figures of the speech represents one of the most rigorous attempts to define with precision the concept of figure, to establish a systematic and relevant inventory. But Fontanier wants to also define the most rigorously possible concept of Stylistic device. " The fundamental concern for Fontanier, which had been already expressed with force in its criticism of Dumarsais, it is indeed to define this concept most rigorously possible, in its extension and its comprehension, and to draw up a scrupulously faithful inventory, in detail of its exclusions and its annexations, with the letter and the spirit of the définition."
The definition which Fontanier of the stylistic device gives brings closer to the design of the stylisticians because it includes/understands it like variation . He writes indeed: " The figures of the speech are the features, the forms or the turns by which the language moves away more or less from the simple expression and commune."
Second half of the 20th century sees a spectacular rebirth of rhetoric.
The essential difference with old rhetoric is that the contemporary one does not intend any more to provide tricks, but is scientific, in this which she wants to release the general rules of the production of the messages. This rebirth occurs in two distinct places. On the one hand among philosophers of the right (like Chaïm Perelman, professor with the Universit3e libre de Bruxelles), she intended to occupy the vacant ground left by a logic which had been formalized at the point to lose little by little the contact with the practice. This rhetoric, now illustrated by Michel Meyer, successor of Perelman, studies the mechanisms of the general social speech and its practical effectiveness; it leans for example on political or commercial propaganda, and the legal or philosophical controversy. The other tallies which allows the resurrection of rhetoric is the contemporary Poétique. In the years 1960, the Linguistique indeed was in search of linguistic structures which would be specific to the literature, seeks that stylistics did not make it possible to carry out. Since 1958, Roman Jakobson gave a new youth to the couple Métaphore - Métonymie, and since 1964 Roland Barthes noted that rhetoric deserved to be reconsidered in structural terms.
What for example did in the years 1960 and 70 work of Tzvetan Todorov, of Gerard Genette, Roland Barthes or the Groupe µ of the Université of Liege, relating primarily to the mechanisms semiotics with work in the figure. Work of the µ Group, aiming at a general Rhétorique, made it possible to adapt the concept of figure to other semiotics that the language, such as for example with the visual Sémiotique.
“New rhetoric” was initiated by Chaïm Perelman in its work written in 1958 with Lucie Olbrechts-Tyteca, Traité argumentation, new rhetoric . Following Aristote or of Isocrate, the work falls under the great tradition rhetoric of the theory of the persuasive speech. The goal is in the beginning to try to know how to found the value judgments. The argumentation and its paramount role in rhetoric are the elements founders of this " news rhétorique". Rhetoric perelmanienne is one of two néo-rhetorics born in second half of the 20th century, the other being the rhetoric of the figures (illustrated by Roman Jakobson, Gerard Genette and the Groupe µ).
Distinct one from the other because falling under different traditions, the néo-rhetoric of the argumentation and the néo-rhetoric of the figures, many joint points have, which were highlighted by Jean-Marie Klinkenberg: they study both indeed how the direction circulates in a social group, and especially how it can evolve/move.
The system rhetoric
It is traditional since Quintilien to distinguish five elements in rhetoric. These phases are especially known under their Latin name (because the treaty of rhetoric of Quintilien was taken a long time as bases teaching): inventio, dispositio, elocutio, actio, memoria . Each one of these stages supposes or calls the development or the intervention of distinct disciplines (Stylistique for the elocutio, Logique for the dispositio, etc).
- Invention ( inventio : art to find): all that relates to the research of the ideas and their development according to the subject to be treated and the recipients to touching. Inseparable from the topic.
- Provision ( dispositio ): all that relates to the construction of the speech, its various parts, its transitions, etc
- Élocution ( elocutio ): all that relates to the processes touching with the style, the sounds, the rates/rhythms, etc
- Action ( actio ): means to implement to say and play the text which one pronounces, as an actor would do it. It is the most external part of the art of public speaking.
- Memory ( memoria ): means of retaining a beforehand made up text, or of improvising starting from a “stock” of predefined forms.
See also: Topic (rhetoric)
The invention (or inventio or heurésis ) is the first of five most of rhetoric. The invention is the most exhaustive possible search for all the means of persuasion relating to the topic of its speech and is treated in the topic. These means are the following: subjects, the evidence and arguments, places, techniques of persuasion, techniques of amplification.
The invention is always of mixed one between two different things. On the one hand, which is directly ordered by the subject of the cause (in particular in the legal kind), and which precisely relates to the things about which one will speak. This part is given to the speaker who must then include it in his speech. In addition the whole of the logical and discursive procedures which determine the development of the speech: i.e the places most suitable to direct the argumentation (what thus includes, in the legal one, the evidence).
The provision studies the structure of the text and the stylistic devices. This central part tended even to become the single object of rhetoric.
Each speech finds same the traditional structure :
- exorde or introduction ( captatio benenvolentiae ), collecting of the benevolence of the audience
- narration and proposal ( narratio ) exposed facts and exposed reasons
- probation ( probatio ) together of the evidence that one exposes
- refutation ( refutatio )
- peroration (or conclusion).
Rhetorical figures (or stylistic devices)
Typology of the stylistic devices
See also: Stylistic device
The stylistic devices concern the typography. It acted in the beginning of part of rhetoric before becoming the element more analyzed and more discussed of rhetoric.
Usual classifications of the stylistic devices are sometimes unsatisfactory (for example, speech of " figures of mots" does not allow to know if these figures affect the direction or the form of the words). And in addition, the figures of direction can affect whole of a level higher than the word (as the sentence, or a whole text). Dautres classifications are thus possible. For example, the Groupe µ distinguishes the Métaplasme S (morphological figures), the Métasémème S (semantic figures), the Métalogisme S (logical figures and figures of the reference) and the Métataxe S (figures of syntax).
AlphabeticalSee also Stylistic device and the : Category: Stylistic device for a more complete list.
Set of themesThe figures can be multi-sets of themes -->
Rhetoric and philosophy
Sophistical and dialectical rhetoric Platonic
Plato opposes two rhetorics:
- rhetoric sophistical, bad, is consisted the logography, which consist in writing any speech and have as an aim probability, the illusion;
- the rhetoric of right or philosophical rhetoric, which constitutes for him true rhetoric that it calls psychagogy (formation of the hearts by the word).
For Plato (of which two dialogs relate to rhetoric precisely: the Gorgias and the Phèdre ), the gasoline of philosophy rested in the Dialectique: the reason and the discussion lead little by little to discovered important truths. Plato thought that the sophists were not interested in the truth, but only with the manner of making there adhere others. Thus it rejected the writing and sought personal interlocution, the AD hominatio. The fundamental mode of the speech is the dialog between the Master and the pupil.
Rhetoric according to Aristote
With the following generation, on the other hand, Aristote composes (beside its Poétique ) a treaty of rhetoric which legitimates this discipline fully.
Aristote, by distinguishing three types of listeners, thus distinguished three kinds rhetorics , each one finding to adapt to the listener concerned and aiming at a certain type of social effect: the deliberative one, the legal one, the épidictique one (or conclusive). The deliberative one is addressed to the policy and its objective is to lead with the decision and the action (as an end the well has); the legal one is addressed to the judge and aims at the charge and/or defense (as an end the just has); the conclusive one speaks in praise or blames of a person (as an end the in vain has). With each speech agrees a series of technique and a particular time: past for the legal speech (since it is on accomplished facts which the charge or defense carries), future for the deliberative one (one considers the stakes and future consequences of the decision object of the debate), finally primarily but so last present and future for the conclusive one (it is question of the acts passed, present and of the future wishes of a person). The legal one has the Syllogisme like principal instrument, the deliberative one privileges the Exemple and epidictic the Amplification.
Rhetoric, born in the legal medium, covers the whole of the social messages potentially, including the texts with esthetic aiming. The traditional thought had considered, beside rhetoric, the existence of the Poétique, working in the world of the imaginary one. But the texts with esthetic aiming, because they belong to the space of the probable one, also concern a rhetoric included/understood in a broad direction. So that between poetic and rhetoric, the passages are possible: concepts elaborate within the framework of the second without difficulties were transposed to the first.
See too" Rhétorique" or " rhéto" is also a Belgicisme to indicate the Final one.
- Arthur Schopenhauer
- Dialectical eristic the
- the Topics
- Sextus Empiricus
- Analysis of the political speech
- listed stylistic devices of which some illustrated by various media.
- Glossary of more than 200 rhetorical figures…
- Lexicon of the stylistic devices of the Québécois Office of the French language
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