Examples Of Rhetoric In Shakespeare

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The term Rhetoric is derived from the Greek word ‘Rhetor’ which means an orator or a public speaker. The term generally refers to persuasive or impressive speech or writing, that is, the use of language which is dignified to persuade or impress people. It may sometimes be mere artificial eloquence, and may even be insincere or somewhat exaggerated.
The term ‘rhetoric’ means different things to different people. For example, Wayne Booth in his book The Rhetoric of Fiction discusses the different ways in which a novelist gains control over his reader’s imagination. Merriam Webster Dictionary defines rhetoric as: “Language that is intended to influence people and that may not be honest or reasonable” or “the art or skill of speaking or writing formally and effectively especially as a way to persuade or influence people. Interrogation or the rhetorical question is figure of speech in which a question is asked not for the sake …show more content…

Literally it means praise or admiration, but in meaning it is the opposite. The sarcastic and sneering tone of the speaker coveys the real sense. This is a device often employed in everyday speeches or public speech. Shakespeare employs ironical sentences in rhetorical speech of Mark Antony. By calling Brutus an honourable man through employing tonal shift in his language, Antony calls into question the honourability of Brutus.
“And Brutus is an honourable man.” “And, sure, he is an honourable man.” Repetition is also a figure of speech in which the same word or phrase is repeated for the sake of emphasis. In a repetition the recurrence of words heightens and emphasises the effect. In case of long speech the listeners usually find it difficult to understand the main points if the speaker does not repeat the things which he considers more important than the rest.

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