Rhetoric: Adapting discourse

Rhetoric is the art of adapting discourse, in harmony with its subject and occasion, to the requirements of a reader or hearer.

Rhetoric: Adapting discourse 

From English Composition and Rhetoric by Alexander Bain:

I. The Greeks exalted the fluent man

a. The term rhetoric” (Greek rhetoriké), derived from the verb rheō, means to flow.
b. i. e., Words flow forth copiously, clearly, and pleasantly to the ear.
c. Our Demosthenes,” says Longinus,
uttering every sentence with such force, precipitation, strength, and vehemence, that it seems to be all fire, and bears down every thing before it, may justly be resembled to a thunderbolt, or a hurricane.

II. Aristotle defines rhetoric as

the faculty of perceiving all the possible means of persuasion on every subject.”

a. But the object of a speaker or writer is sometimes not to persuade, but to instruct or amuse.

b. Quintilian describes rhetoric as
the science of speaking well,
a concise and beautiful definition, if it be understood also to include writing.

III. There are three principal ends in speaking and writing.

a. To informcorresponding to human understanding.
b. To persuadecorresponding to human will.
 c. To pleasecorresponding to human feelings.

IV. There are only two rhetorical ends.

Human will can be moved only
a. Through the understanding, or
b. Through the feelings.

V. Rhetoric is closely allied with

a. Grammar,
which determines the laws of language.
b. Logic,
which determines the laws of thought.

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