Rhetoric: A Very Short Introduction (Very Short Introductions)
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Rhetoric was once an essential part of western education. Aristotle wrote an important treatise on it and Demosthenes remains famous to this day for his skills as a rhetorician. But skill with rhetoric today is no longer admired. Rhetoric is often seen as a synonym for shallow, deceptive language-empty words, empty rhetoric--and therefore as something quite negative. But if we view rhetoric in more neutral terms, as the "art of persuasion," it is clear that we are all forced to engage with it at some level, if only because we are constantly exposed to the rhetoric of others. In this Very Short Introduction, Richard Toye explores the purpose of rhetoric. Rather than presenting a defense of it, he considers it as the foundation-stone of civil society, and an essential part of any democratic process. Using wide-ranging examples from ancient Greece, medieval Islamic preaching, the wartime speeches of Winston Churchill, and modern cinema, Toye considers why we should all have an appreciation of the art of rhetoric.
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Oxford's Very Short Introductions series offers concise and original introductions to a wide range of subjects--from Islam to Sociology, Politics to Classics, Literary Theory to History, and Archaeology to the Bible. Not simply a textbook of definitions, each volume in this series provides trenchant and provocative--yet always balanced and complete--discussions of the central issues in a given discipline or field. Every Very Short Introduction gives a readable evolution of the subject in question, demonstrating how the subject has developed and how it has influenced society. Eventually, the series will encompass every major academic discipline, offering all students an accessible and abundant reference library. Whatever the area of study that one deems important or appealing, whatever the topic that fascinates the general reader, the Very Short Introductions series has a handy and affordable guide that will likely prove indispensable.
rival Mark Antony permission to speak at his friend Caesar’s funeral. Yet, as Cassius fears, Mark Antony does not deliver a standard eulogy. Indeed, he advertises at the start that ‘I come to bury Caesar, not to praise him.’ This, however, is disingenuous. While disclaiming all intention of stirring the crowd against the conspirators by drawing attention to the virtues of the man they had killed, he nonetheless actually does this, whilst keeping up a withering, sarcastic commentary on Brutus’s
any harm done? (Yes, there was a technical breach of the rules, which I regret, but I returned the money as soon as it was brought to my attention.) Was the harm done serious? (No, this was a minor infringement that occurred accidentally without any intent to deceive.) Is this the right place to be discussing this? (No, let us wait for the official report into the matter and in the meantime get back to debating the vital questions facing the country.) In working out how to elaborate her answers
a successful text necessarily reveals its own intention is mistaken. Texts may succeed because of contextual information available to the audience which the text itself does not need to supply: unless later or more distant audiences can recover that information they will be at a loss. Readers of Animal Farm, if they are to grasp its central message, do need at least a passing familiarity with the early history of the USSR. Without it, they may end up like the fictional teenage diarist Adrian
biases. It is unlikely that an Indian’s first reaction to a new local factory would be to worry about Western unemployment. But at the same time we can be cued, quite easily, to accept the screen put in front of us. It is notoriously easy to get very different results from opinion polls by varying the question. (For example, one might find high support for military action against another country ‘in order to prevent it acquiring nuclear weapons’ if this were presented as the sole option but find
acquittal of his client Milo, who was sent into exile. But why should Cicero advertise his failure by circulating the speech, even in an improved form? Aislinn Melchior makes the plausible argument that it was a political act, and that ‘Cicero’s additions were written and produced with the goal of achieving Milo’s eventual pardon and recall.’ In other words, the fact that the published version is ‘inaccurate’ in the common sense of the term does not diminish its value as a source. It may be