15.02.08: Convincing the Masses: Rhetoric in Julius Caesar

After determining the audience and context for an appeal, Cicero felt effective persuasion necessitated consideration of invention, arrangement, style, memory, and delivery.3 Familiarity with these canons is necessary to both craft a speech and to properly analyze the rhetoric of others. Invention tailors an approach for the audience and context: What is the most appropriate appeal and which words will one use to effectively convey that appeal? Arrangement requires the establishment of the credibility of the speaker via ethos, and then the use of pathos or logos to pursue the argument using a structure suitable for the audience and context; traditionally this order is: introduction, statement and proof, conclusion. Style is the choice of appropriate rhetorical techniques and figures of speech and of the construction of the argument, and may include diction, grammar, rhythm and metaphor. Memory is not necessarily rote recall of the words, but a familiarity with the speech that allows the content to seem natural and fluid upon delivery and can support or erode ethos. Delivery of the appeal includes body language and intonation, which profoundly affect ethos and the subconscious reaction to the appeal. Several famous speeches will be analyzed as both a text and a performance to familiarize students with these terms.

Convincing the Masses: Rhetoric in Julius Caesar ..

as Aristotle divided the parts of persuasive speech in his ..
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The Fix - McCain's Speech: How Did He Do?

By teaching the fundamentals of rhetoric, I hope to create an awareness of its prevalence in advertising and political speeches, an appreciation for the power of language, and a sense that students can potentially harness that power. I want my students not only to become skilled at identifying rhetoric, but also to become proficient in using the art to strengthen their critical reading skills, speaking and writing. I plan to build on their understanding of logos, ethos and pathos, as Aristotle divided the parts of persuasive speech in his Rhetoric, while also strengthening their observation of basic rhetorical strategies like repetition, structure, symbolism, defining, describing, etc. While some time will be devoted to the classical canon of rhetoric - invention, arrangement, style, memory and delivery- I do not intend to cover the tropes and figures in detail. My true aim is to develop critical thinking skills, utilizing challenging classroom activities to engage their interest and encourage civic engagement.

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Greek philosopher Aristotle offered three means to persuade your audience: ethos, pathos, and logos.1 While ethos is said to translate to ethics, it really suggests the modern sense of image in that the speaker is relying upon their authority to convince the audience based upon our impression of their character. Considering ethos from both the perspective of analyzing how advertising or political rhetoric is meant to impact the audience, but also how a writer can use word choice and style to create their own ethos, is imperative. Logos, or logical argument, traditionally utilizes syllogisms, yet an exploration of inductive and deductive reasoning, logical fallacies and what exactly makes for effective reasoning will be a more appropriate for my purposes. The emotion aroused in audience, or pathos, is crucial to persuasion. Negative emotions such as anger, fear and insecurity are the most effective and prevalent in modern advertising and politics.2

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Is Nancy Pelosi a freakin' GENIUS?? - Daily Kos

I’ve got to be as persuasive as I can be that this is the right thing to do.” In retrospect, many observers have judged the program instrumental in averting a depression, while faulting Treasury for failing to do enough to help homeowners facing foreclosure.

The Washington herald., February 11, 1907, Image 1

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