Theme Of Rhetoric In Antigone

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Yet, not everyone agreed. Michel de Montaigne saw the dangers inherent in language: to him, rhetoric was something designed to persuade the ignorant, to deceive and flatter. Early on, he admitted that the function of grammatical jargon was to give great importance to concepts that were really very simple. The popular mode of verbal expression in the sixteenth century, the popular rhetoric, depended upon amplification and illustration. In The Art of English Poesy, George Puttenham explains that the purpose of “exornation” (ornamentation) is “to delight and allure as well the mind as the ear.” In his book, The Art of Rhetoric, Thomas Wilson argued that it was best to keep one’s syntax simple, because if clause is piled on clause “the hearers will be forced to forget full of what was said first, before the sentence be half ended, or else be blinded with confounding of many things together.” Wilson’s advice is to avoid repetition of sounds (either by alliteration,…show more content…
Thus, in Sophocles’ Antigone, the heroine’s familial and religious obligation to bury her brother collides with the laws and needs of the state. In the same way, Aeschylus’ Orestes is violently torn between two aspects of his filial obligations, each advocated by a supernatural power. These tragic figures cannot do good without doing evil. They are doomed by a situation in which all roads lead to wrong. The tragedy lies not in the final destruction of the hero (many the classical tragedies end with the hero in a state of redemption) but in the impossible conflicts the hero’s particular situation serves to expose. Therefore, tragedy “allows the audience not only to confront its fears of suffering, but also to confront the half-recognized contradictions in its assumptions about truth and
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