Purpose Of Rhetoric Summary

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Rong Rong (Esther) Professor John Q. Davis Eng 1A 11 Nov 2015 Fact and Emotion What is the purpose of rhetoric? A host of sophists and scholars have studied rhetoric since the ancient times. Aristotle, one of the greatest philosophers in history, holds the view that a persuasive speech should stick to the facts rather than evoking audience’s emotions. In the article “Rhetoric”, Aristotle claims that “all men, no doubt, think that the laws should prescribe such rules, but some, as in the court of Areopagus, give practical effect to their thoughts and forbid talk about non-essential...It is not right to pervert the judge by moving him to anger or envy or pity” (Aristotle 178). In the example, Aristotle claims…show more content…
Booth mentions two stances in a persuasive speech, one is the pedant’s stance, another is the advertiser’s stance. The pedant’s stance persuades the audience by knowledge and facts. As a result, the audience will not get interested in the tedious persuasion. On the opposite side of the pedant’s stance, the advertiser’s stance does not persuade the audience by knowledge and facts, but it aims to attract their attention instead. Booth takes a balance between the two stances, not emphasize or sacrifice either of them. A few speakers and writers do not respect the facts, but exaggerate or even twist the facts. These people fit in Booth’s “the advertiser’s stance”, who attach more importance on their influence on the audience, though at the expense of abandoning facts. These people are skilled in influencing the audience by arousing their emotions. At the same time, they are irresponsible for the influence that they have imposed on the audience. In other words, “the advertiser’s stance” is not virtuous in a certain…show more content…
At the same time, a sincere tone of speakers or writers should be valued too. A sincere tone requires speakers and writers to have deep understanding of their subjects and explain the subjects frankly. When a speaker persuades the audience in a sincere tone, a rich emotion will arise naturally. As a result, audiences will be infected and pay full attention to the subject of the persuasion. In the old movie The Great Dictator, Charlie Chaplin made a speech called “Fight for Liberty”. At the beginning of the speech, Chaplin said, “I'm sorry, but I don't want to be an emperor. That's not my business. I don't want to rule or conquer anyone. I should like to help everyone if possible - Jew, Gentile - black man - white. ” Chaplin apologized to the audience first, and then he defined his position. Even though Chaplin realized that his position might be resented by some audience, he still stayed to his subject, which was to reveal the evilness of dictators and to inspire people to fight for
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