Augustine Of Hippo Rhetorical Analysis

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Q1) What dilemmas faced Augustine of Hippo regarding rhetoric? What was Augustine 's response to these dilemmas? Answer: Language is a finite system of using letters, punctuations etc. In language, rhetoric is used in the pervasive argument. It is an art to motivate the audience. It is used in understanding, discovering and in developing arguments. Its best and known definition came from Aristotle. Who had mentioned three appeals of rhetoric that are logos, pathos, and ethos.Logos is the reasoning argument that may contain deductive or inductive argument. Ethos is the character and the credibility of the speaker. Pathos means the emotional response of the audience. (Ong, 1971) Rhetoric is used in expressing one’s view but when it is used in explaining the concept of God then it can raise certain problems. Three appeals that Aristotle had mentioned are not enough to explain the concept of God. This was the first dilemma that Augustine had to face. God is the ultimate being and is Infinite. Language is a human institution and it deals with finite things. That is why rhetoric cannot be used in the concept of God. Augustine’s response to this dilemma was to introduce or to develop such rhetoric that could be used in explaining the concept of God. (Sayre,2016) His answer to this dilemma is close to the concept of Plato or what we can call “true rhetoric” which means that if we want to contemplate God in mind, one must prepare himself in such a way that he cleanses his mind first.

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