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Have a Coke and a Smile: Greek and Roman Rhetorical Devices in the 21st Century
Transcript of Have a Coke and a Smile: Greek and Roman Rhetorical Devices in the 21st Century
Greek and Roman Rhetorical Devices
in the 21st Century Jamie Fishman
Ph D. Student
University of Cincinnati
Department of Classics Outreach Program What do we mean by 'Rhetorical Devices'? How and when did the Greeks and Romans use figures of speech? Why is it still important? Asyndeton Syllepsis Now it's your turn! Just to recap: Anadiplosis Device #1 Device #2 Device #3 WHAT IS ASYNDETON? derived from Greek word- asyndetos-
refers to the omission of conjunctions such as "and," "or," "for," or "but" from a series of related phrases or clauses What are some common ways to express asyndeton and what does it evoke? Ask an enthusiastic young athlete what sports he plays.
the response expresses abundance, rapidity, and continuous effort
"I play hockey, baseball, basketball, football." Describe someone with a lot of talent:
This expresses parallel, congruous statements-- linking her genius with her star-power
"She's a genius, a star." How was asyndeton used by the Greeks and Romans? One more example: General MacArthur in an address to the West Point Academy “Duty, Honor, Country. Those three hallowed words reverently dictate what you ought to be, what you can be, what you will be. They are your rallying points: to build courage when courage seems to fail; to regain faith when there seems to be little cause for faith; to create hope when hope becomes forlorn.” What to remember about asyndeton: lack of connecting words in sentences
allows you to condense several thoughts into one sentence What is anadiplosis? terms derives from the Greek of the same name which refers to a reduplication, convolution, or repetition.
anadiplosis appears when a sentence or clause begins by repeating the last word or phrase from the previous sentence What are some other ways to express anadiplosis? Talking about how pain and certain emotions can lead to positive feelings. Paul in the New Testament
"We also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not disappoint us." -Romans 3:3-5 Describing the path from 'rags to riches':
"They call for you: The general who became a slave; the slave who became a gladiator; the gladiator who defied an Emperor. Striking story." —Commodus, Gladiator (film, 2000). Returning to our first example.... Returning to our first example.... How did the Greeks and Romans use Anadiplosis? One more example... “When your cable company keeps you on hold, you get angry. When you get angry, you go blow off steam. When you go blow off steam, accidents happen. When accidents happen, you get an eye patch. When you get an eye patch, people think you’re tough. When people think you’re tough, people want to see how tough. And when people want to see how tough, you wake up in a roadside ditch. Don’t wake up in a roadside ditch: Get rid of cable and upgrade to DIRECTV.” What to remember about anadiplosis: shows cause and effect relationship
repeated word is emphasized
often builds to a climax
may be a subtle reminder to proceed with caution and think about decisions before you make them. What is syllepsis? comes from Greek word of the same name, meaning a taking together, or conjunction of sounds.
another term for this is Zeugma, which is the Greek word for bridge or crossing.
in writing it appears when one single word modifies two or more other words that are not parallel to each other.
syllepsis is most effective when the verb or noun takes two types of objects, one literal and one metaphorical. What are some common ways to use syllepsis and what effect does it have? "I took her by the hand and by the heart."
"You held your breath and the door for me."
"He milked the cow and the situation." Has a witty or comical effect
compact sentence with the possibilities for redirection of thought
makes for clever newspaper headlines and advertisements Return to our first example... How did the Greeks and Romans use syllepsis? More examples "He carried a strobe light and the responsibility for the lives of his men."
(Tim O'Brien, The Things They Carried. McClelland & Stewart, 1990) What to remember about syllepsis appears when one word governs two or more words that are often very different
a clever and compact combination of thoughts
allows for a seamless connection between two otherwise unconnected words asyndeton~lack of connecting words for abundance, rapidity
Vick's Nyquill and General McArthur
anadiplosis- repetition of words at beginning and end of sentences for cause/effect focus
Yoda and DirecTV
syllepsis- one word governs two in a clever, compact connection
Coca-Cola and Tim O'Brien Further Reading (also on the handout) Corbett, Edward P.J. 1965. Classical Rhetoric for the Modern Student. Oxford University Press: New York, especially pages 425-448.
Johnson, Christopher. 2011. Microstyle: The Art of Writing Little. W.W. Norton & Company: New York; London figures of speech can rightly be considered the "graces of language," or "dressings of thought," or embellishments or decorations.
but, the figures were another way to add liveliness, and clarity to words, striking a balance between the obvious and the obscure Rhetorical devices can also be construed as 'figures of speech' - playful, clever, witty, insightful, and persuasive uses of words.
we, as Americans in the 21st century, see these in newspaper headlines, song lyrics, political speeches, movie quotes, literature and advertisements. According to Quintilian, one of the foremost educators of rhetorician in ancient Rome, a figure of speech is, "any deviation, either in thought or expression from the ordinary and simple method of speaking, a change analogous to the different positions our bodies assume when we sit down, lie down, or look back." What effect do figures of speech have?
Why are they catchy or memorable? This presentation... is aimed at:
increasing your awareness of Greek-Roman rhetorical devices that you may already recognize or see in your daily life
giving more specifics about the effects of these
showing you how YOU can use these in your writing and speech "When the going gets tough, the tough get going." "Tippecanoe and Tyler too!" Greeks and Romans used devices in:
poetry/literature rhetoric remains something that has NOT been improved by time or by technological advances classical rhetoric is where students of rhetoric turn first Veni, vidi, vici (Caesar: "I came; I saw; I conquered") Cicero in his reply to the speech which Metellus made to the public assembly:
"I ordered those against whom information was laid, to be summoned, guarded, brought before the senate: they were led into the senate." "We shall pay any price, bear any burden, meet any hardships, support any friend, oppose any foe to assure the survival and the success of liberty" - JF Kennedy, Inaugural What effect does it have?
repetition of words adds rhythm and cadence
repeated words are emphasized
often builds to a climax
used to demonstrate a cause/effect relationship between events Describing the legal system:
"To be accused was to be convicted, and to be convicted was to be punished." "You are free to execute your laws, and your citizens, as you see fit."
(Star Trek: The Next Generation) One more example "She looked at the object with suspicion and a magnifying glass."
(Charles Dickens) Crudelis aras traiectaque pectora ferro nudavit
"He laid bare the altars and his chest pierced with iron."- Vegil (Aeneid) One more example...