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Rhetoric from Homer to Augustine - Essay Example

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Rhetoric from Homer to Augustine

Antique civilization contributed a lot to our modern science and laid foundation of modern scientific conceptions of the world inside and outside of us. Rhetoric is just one point of ancient heritage. Rhetoric from Homer to Augustine went through the phase of its origin and becoming when fundament of this art was laid.
2. Rhetoric in Greece was one of the three liberal arts. So it was a very important art. In Homer days rhetoric was not widely developed yet, but it is possible to say that Homer's contribution to rhetoric is obvious. His epic poems "Iliad" and "Odyssey" were full of poetic dialogues, argumentations and word exercises for achieving different goals. His poetry influenced further poetic and rhetoric development in Greece. But in 5th century B. C. rhetoric became known for wide people through sophists. They thought people skill of argumentation. Sophists' work was valued rather high as they helped people to defend their personal interests, not always fair. So this form of teaching soon declined. Plato's teaching was another significant step to rhetoric development. He was an opponent for the sophists. ...
Aristotle developed Plato's ideas and went further. He introduced rhetoric as a system of particular skills necessary for an orator. It was the next step of rhetoric development. Aristotle identified three main elements of rhetorical art: character of an orator, his emotions and his language. It is very important to feel the character of the audience, its structure - it will help to choose correct ways of influence on it. Orator's character and emotions must be directed to the goals of the speech - his speech must be emotionally-colored, bright and address everybody's hearts and feelings. The choice of appropriate language is also important. It in turn depends on the audience structure and goals to be achieved. So Aristotle's system influenced rhetoric very much and prepared fertile ground for its further rise and development.

3. Rhetoric in Ancient Rome took much from that of Greece, but there were its own features. The main figures of Roman rhetoric were Cicero and Quintilian. Cicero was one of the most brilliant orators of the ancient world. His speeches were full of expression, his influence on the audience was great, his oratorical methods were much imitated in his days and by later orators. Cicero's works on rhetoric were influenced this art in Rome and for further rhetoric development in general. Quintilian's treatise "Institutes of Oratory" was the next step of rhetorical skills systematization. He wrote about five main rhetorical canons. These are: development of an argument; its arrangement and organization for achieving an appropriate effect; definition of the speech style for a determined audience; speech delivery methods; orator's memory needed to keep in mind all elements of the speech. Quintilian's ...Show more


1. Rhetoric as an art of argumentation has a very long history. It goes back to the time of Ancient Greece where it was concerned as one of the most important arts. Rhetoric passed a long way of development through history and philosophy. Today it is not concerned as a very important art as it was in epoch of its becoming, but rhetoric rules and laws can play an important role in argumentation, point of view defending and eloquence development…
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Rhetoric from Homer to Augustine essay example
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