Rhetoric Analysis

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Throughout history, rhetoric has always been described as a negative means of persuasion. It has been attributed to falsity or trickery and has also been criticized as being empty. While it is certain that rhetoric can carry negative connotations, rhetorical skills have also proven to be powerful tools in convincing an audience and persuading them to change their attitudes and beliefs. As times change, new definitions have been attributed to rhetoric; it is not only confined to words and speech, but can also be used to describe mobility and action. In this paper, I argue that rhetoric are not just words used to persuade an audience, but courses of action that unite and mobilize a body of people for the sake of political action. First, I will…show more content…
Sophists, or those who taught rhetoric, offered “rhetoric as a central educational discipline” (encyclopedia britannica) and became very powerful and influential. As a resistance to this status, reformers such as Plato and Socrates were more concerned with seeking out knowledge and truth. They believed that rhetoric was a form of fallacy and deception. From there in, rhetoric and sophism carried a negative definition as a means of appealing to emotions rather than rationality. Aristotle, another renowned philosopher also denounced sophists, but wrote The Art of Rhetoric, a piece that defined the rules of various forms of argument. After developing the five canons of rhetoric, Cicero and Quintilian further developed the term. They believed that rhetoric was more of an art of eloquence. During this time, rhetoric was used mostly by priests, political authorities, and those that needed to persuade an audience. The power of rhetoric had not proven to be just an “educational discipline” but a force used to persuade the audience for political and economic gains. Today, rhetoric is still seen as a form of speech that is empty or deceptive; however, the power of rhetoric has manifested itself in different ways of creating a mass movement. It is not only confined to “the art of using language effectively,” but is also a “course of action taken in order to persuade” a body of people for political and social

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