AP/HUMA 4105 6.00
The Rhetorical Tradition
"Rhetoric originated in ancient Greece as the art of speaking in public - in the law courts, in political assemblies, and wherever persuasion and eloquence were valued. For more than two thousand years rhetoric was a fundamental part of the Western education system; it became the basic training for writers such as Shakespeare and James Joyce; and it remains an important though often unrecognized force in our own times in law, politics, and advertising. The issues raised by rhetoric range from detailed consideration of word order and usage to the formation of the writer's personality and the relation between the writer and the audience. This course examines the forms of rhetoric and its social function from the Classical cultures of Greece and Rome to our own time. Topics for the course include the technical handbooks (such as Aristotle's Rhetoric); selected speeches (by Demosthenes, Cicero, Abraham Lincoln and Martin Luther King, among others); the role of rhetoric in literature (Shakespeare and others); the philosophic critique of rhetoric (Plato); and the role of rhetoric in modern advertising and politics. The course includes practical application of rhetorical theory through the writing and delivery of two short speeches.
REPRESENTATIVE READINGS: Aristotle: The Art of Rhetoric, Translated by Hugh Lawson- Tancred. London: Penguin; Clark, Matthew. A Matter of Style, Oxford University Press; Kennedy, George, A New History of Classical Rhetoric, Princeton: Princeton University Press; Lanham, Richard, A Handlist of Rhetorical Terms, Second Edition. Berkeley: University of California Press; Plato: Gorgias. Translated by Robin Waterfield. Oxford: Oxford University Press; Shakespeare, William. Julius Caesar, New York: Signet. Course kit, including speeches and passages by various authors, including Cicero, Charles Dickens, Abraham Lincoln, William Faulkner, Winston Churchill, and others. "