Aristotle's Definition Of Rhetoric

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Introduction Rational appeals may be employed through three different categories of speech: political, ceremonial, and forensic. The classification for each speech is determined by the situation in which the speech is to be used. These three categories were used in Greek life and are the three dominant categories for oratorical study. Aristotle states in Rhetoric that, “these three kinds of rhetoric refer to three different kinds of time” (350 B.C.E/1954, Book 1, Part 3). The purpose of this paper is to introduce and explain Aristotle’s definition of rhetoric, as well as the three types of speeches or oratory he outlines in his work Rhetoric. The three views of rhetoric will also be described and each section will involve discussion about how…show more content…
Aristotle defined political speaking in terms of how it, “urges us either to do or not to do something” (350 B.C.E./1954, Book 1, Part 3), which shows the rhetorical connection to persuasion. These speeches are often directed at governing bodies as a type of legislation. The primary concern of political speech is to move people toward the future action of laws and policies that would affect the future of society. This type of speech allows for choice of issues having an impact on a greater number of people, which shows that it considers the future, elevating the political oratory above both ceremonial and forensic speech. The view for which the political orator aligns himself is, “establishing the expediency or the harmfulness of a proposed course of action” (350 B.C.E./1954, Book 1, Part 3). Persuasion involving the acceptance of a proposed action will be done on the ground that it will do good and just so with the opposite, if persuasion involves rejection of a proposed action it is done so on the grounds that it will do harm (350 B.C.E./1954, Book 1, Part 3). With this description of political oratory it can be seen that deliberative speeches fit into the rhetorical division of the judge and member of the assembly, who makes the decision about things past…show more content…
These types of speeches are typical in law courts and are used to provoke judgment concerning a past action. The purpose of forensic speech is to defend or accuse, defend or prosecute legal proceedings or argue for the innocence or guilt of a single person for actions taken in the past. Oftentimes debate fits into the classification of forensic speech because the speaker is defending a position. This type of oratory can also be used when accusing a flawed reasoning, which can be seen as blame, placing the speeches focus on the past. Forensic orators focus on the view of, “establishing the justice or injustice of some action, and they too bring in all other points as subsidiary and relative to this one” (350 B.C.E./1954, Book 1, Part 3). With this description of forensic oratory, it is seen that the rhetorical division it best fits into would be the judge with the decision about things past and the juryman who decides about past

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