Persuasion: The Five Canons Of Rhetoric

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Although all five canons are imperative to rhetoric, there are two canons that I find to be the most useful for a rhetor because of their influence on the persuasiveness of a speech: invention and delivery. Without the invention process it is difficult to form any type of arrangement, to implement personal style, to pull from memory, or deliver the speech in the most efficient and persuasive manner. Invention is useful because the development of rhetoric is dependent on the initial formation of an argument and it targets the three means of persuasion- logos, ethos, and pathos. Our persuasive appeal can be enhanced through the use of humor when properly presented in one's argument. Effectively using humor requires natural talent and the ability to understand appropriate language and timing (Cicero, II 216). Humor is useful to persuasion because it can increase credibility and provide comic relief in stressful situations. The combination of the canons of rhetoric are as effective as their delivery makes…show more content…
The canon of invention helps us understand persuasion by analyzing what elements a speaker must first understand to produce an audience reaction. It takes a skilled orator to know what to say and exactly how to say it to effectively impact an audience. Antonius lists the three means of persuasion that are used in the art of oratory: “proving that our contentions are true, winning over our audience, and inducing their minds to feel any emotion the case may demand” (Cicero, 153). To craft a persuasive piece of rhetoric, the speaker must consider one's audience and determine how to adjust the argument to the targeted audience. Invention helps our understanding of persuasion by observing relevant information about the audience's background and beliefs that contribute to deciding what facts and types of evidence one should implement into their rhetoric to produce the most persuasive

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