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The Art of Rhetoric

Aristotle offered a systematic rhetoric and defined rhetoric as the art of discovering the means of persuasion available for any subject. The rhetor must investigate systematically both the situation with which he is presented and his own inner resources for dealing with it. Speech itself comes in different types according to its purpose in the rhetorical situation. The first of these is deliberative or political oratory, and this type is intended to recommend a future course of action. The second is epideictic or ceremonial oratory which is meant to convey a future course of action. The thirds is forensic or legal oratory, and this is intended to provoke judgment concerning a past action (Bizzell and Herzberg 29).

Rhetoric is described by Aristotle as the faculty of observing in a given case the available means of persuasion, and in the art of persuasion, there are three factors which have to be noted: 1) the character of the speaker (ethos, or ethical appeal); 2) the frame of mind of the audience (pathos, or pathetic or emotional appeal); and 3) the actual or apparent proof of the speech itself (logos, factual statements and arguments. For a speaker to be effective, he or she must be knowledgeable about human nature and character, the emotions, and logic (Bizzell and Herzberg 145).

The traditional reading of Aristotle has seen him as having a more rigid adherence to logos, pathos, and ethos in terms of dividing artist


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