Rhetoric is a technique with which language can be used effectively and convincingly in spoken or written form. It is an art of discourse that studies and uses various methods to convince, influence, or please an audience.
For example, a person gets on your nerves. You feel irritable and say, "Why don't you leave me alone?" When you ask such a question, you're not really asking for a reason. Instead, you just want it to stop irritating you. By doing this, you are directing speech in a certain way for effective communication by using rhetoric. A situation in which you use rhetoric is known as a "rhetorical situation".
Difference between rhetorical devices and figures of speech
Rhetorical figures or devices are used to achieve a special emphasis and effect. However, rhetorical devices are different from "speech figures". Wherever and whenever a figure of language is used in written text and language, it changes the meaning of words. For example, the metaphor used in the phrase "He is a tiger" is a completely altered form of a simple idea, "He is brave". Try to compare this example to the use of a rhetorical device in the following example:
"I will never rob anyone for you and never give in to your sinful desire."
The repetition in the above example emphasizes the statement but does nothing to make it worthy of it not to be elected.
Here comes the Helena of our school. - An allusion to "Helen of Troy" to emphasize the beauty of a girl.
I would die if you asked me to sing in front of my parents. A. Exaggeration to persuade others not to use force to get you to do something you don't want to do.
All blondes are stupid. - Using a stereotype to develop a general opinion about a group.
Nevertheless, the difference between rhetorical devices and speech figures is so small that both have many characteristics in common. A figure of speech becomes an instrument of rhetoric if it is to convince readers or listeners.
Examples of rhetoric in literature
Let's try to analyze the use of rhetoric in some literary works:
Example 1: Paradise Lost (by John Milton)
John Milton's Paradise Lost includes several examples of rhetoric.
"... advise him about his happy state -
happiness in its power, which is left to the will,
Left to his own free will, his will is free
No changeable." , that makes free choices, but the phrase "still changeable" creates confusion that Adam, although free, had to be careful, as a wrong act could result in him losing his freedom. by John Donne)
John Donne addresses death in his death, do not be proud (Holy Sonnet 10) by saying:
“You are a slave to fate, chance, kings and desperate men,
And you join in Poison, war and disease dwell,
And poppies or magic can also make us sleep
And better than your stroke; Then why are you swelling up? "
The rhetorical question" Then why do you swell? "serves to downplay the horrific nature of death. He devalues death by calling it a" slave "and maintaining the despicable company of" poison, war, disease "and seeking its support.
Example no. 3: Crossing the Brooklyn Ferry (by Walt Whitman)
We see Walt Whitman in his poem Crossing the Brooklyn Ferry use an anaphora to create a rhetorical effect:
"Flood tide under me! I look at you, face to face face;
Western clouds! Sun there half an hour high! I see you face to face too. ”
Anaphora is a device where the same word or phrase is repeated at regular intervals to achieve a rhetorical effect.
Function of rhetoric
Rhetoric, as explained above, is a tool for writers and speakers allowing them to convince their readers and listeners of their point of view. We often find rhetorical examples in religious sermons and political speeches. Its aim is to make comparisons, evoke tender emotions, censor rivals, and all of this is to persuade listeners.
Advertisers give their ads a touch of rhetoric to boost their sales by convincing people that your product is better than other products on the market. For example, in an advertisement, a girl - after washing her hair with a particular product - says, "I can't stop touching my hair. This is an attempt to use visual rhetoric to mislead consumers into purchasing this product in order to have soft and shiny hair like them.
Popular Literary Devices
- Ad Hominem
- Deus Ex Machina
- Double Entendre
- Flash Forward
- Half Rhyme
- Internal Rhyme
- Line Break
- Non Sequitur
- Pathetic Fallacy
- Poetic Justice
- Point of View
- Red Herring
- Tragic Flaw