Rhetorical Analysis Of Catiline By Marcus Tullius Cicero

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Marcus Tullius Cicero, a consul for the Roman senate, addressed the citizens of Rome promptly following Lucius Catiline’s exile in what is now known as the Second Catilinarian Oration. Cicero uses this public oration as his attempt to persuade the Romans that he is more favorable than Catiline as well as a directly threatening the un-persuadable followers of Catiline. Through Cicero’s skilled use of rhetoric, a recurring concept within his oration is persuasion. As Cicero addresses different groups of Roman citizens, his persuasive nature of speaking becomes much more apparent. Persuasion is a vital dimension of rhetoric. Aristotle defines rhetoric as, “the ability to see, in each given case, the available means of persuasion.” Persuasion …show more content…

Cicero is calling upon himself to take actions against what Catiline has done and restore the Republic to its former glory. In addition to proclaiming himself the next person of power, Cicero is introducing the opportunity for the un-persuadables to leave the city walls without any punishment. As well as addressing the un-persuadables, Cicero makes the case for those Romans who do have the ability to be persuaded. He stated that:
“Now once more I wish those who have remained in the city, and who, contrary to the safety of the city and of all of you, have been left in the city by Catiline, although they are enemies, yet because they were born citizens, to be warned again and again by me. If my lenity has appeared to any one too remiss, it has been only waiting that that might break out which was lying hid. As to the future, I cannot now forget that this is my country, that I am the consul of these citizens; that I must either live with them, or die for them.” (Cicero, 1865, …show more content…

Cicero is constantly reassuring the public that he is the best suited for Rome. In doing so, Cicero is showing that he has an immense emotional attachment to the Republic, but subtly masking his merciless nature if he were to be crossed by an un-persuadable. Cicero is using this fragile time to appear empathetic to the loyalists and providing them an out if need be. He proclaimed that, “And this I will so arrange, O Romans, that if it can be by any means managed, even the most worthless man shall not suffer the punishment of his crimes in this city” (Cicero,1865, n.p.). Cicero is willing to spare the lives of the un-persuadables as long as they agree to side with him if the choose to remain in the city. What Cicero neglects to mention is that he will have no mercy on those who shall betray his kind actions in future

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