On our website: http://chantrill.net/rhetoric_basic_notes.pdf http://chantrill.net/rhetoric_basic_notes.pdf
Herding Cats & Lame Ducks Herding Cats Running with the Squirrels Figures of Thought & Speech Rhetorical Devices (repetition, word order, semanticsmetaphor & metonymy)
Scandalous Rhetorics Theory v. Application Community Interests v. Partisan Interests Expert v. Democratic (decisions & leadership) Flaunting it.
Rhetorical Devices Harris Handbook "Ready are you? What know you of ready? For eight hundred years have I trained Jedi. My own counsel will I keep on who is to be trained.... This one a long time have I watched.... Never his mind on where he was." (Star Wars: Episode V--The Empire Strikes Back, 1980)
Herbert A. Wichelns, 1925 The Literary Criticism of Oratory Wicheln's essay attempted to "put rhetorical studies on par with literary studies as an area of academic interest and research."  Wichelns wrote that oratory should be taken as seriously as literature, and therefore, it should be subject to criticism and analysis. 
Wichelns, continued. Literary criticism is concerned with evaluating the wisdom, beauty, and truth contained in great works of fiction, while rhetorical criticism is devoted to assessing the persuasive effect of situated oratory. Rhetorical criticism focuses on discovering and appreciating how speakers adapt their ideas to particular audiences. Rhetoric not concerned with permanence and beauty but with immediate effect. Distinguish between Communication and English departments (Wichelns had a rhetorical goal of his own.)
Neo-Classical Criticism The Consequences Neo-Aristotelian (or neo-classical) criticism became virtually the only method, unchallenged until the 1960s and based on Aristotles Rhetoric Rhetorical Criticism became the Study of Speeches Subject matter and Purpose: to study the effect on the immediate audience, Limited to single speakers (usually elite men of public affairs). Not designed for the critic, but designed to teach the speaker. Did the speech evoke the intended response? Did speaker use the available means of persuasion?
Neo-classical Criticism, continued. Formula for Analysis: Finding issues Understanding the audience Discovering the structure Identifying arguments (logos) Values (pathos) Ethos Style
Example of Neo-classical criticism Marie Hochmuth Nichols, Lincolns First Inaugural (1954) Marie Hochmuth Nichols, Lincolns First Inaugural (1954)
Ernest J. Wrage, 1947 Public Address: A Study in Social and Intellectual History Rhetorical criticism can make important contributions to social and intellectual history. Ideas are produced by historical contexts, are linked to change, and have social consequences. Ideas, values, and beliefs of a culture are expressed in speeches.
Wayland Maxfield Parrish, 1954 Critics should evaluate the quality of a speech. The effect of a speech is difficult to assess, but the quality can be determined separately from its actual impact on an audience....relying on the judgment of qualified critics, rather than trying to compute audience reactions.
Basic Purposes of Criticism (evolving) Determining the areas of investigation Establishing the authenticity of texts Reconstructing the social settings
Organizing Neo-Classical Criticism Rhetorical situation Nature of the audience Structure of the message Forms of argument Values Ethos Style and delivery Assessment of effectiveness
Neo-C Standards of Judgment Integrity of ideas: logical proof (logos) Emotion in speech: pathetic proof (pathos) Character of the speaker: ethical proof (ethos) Structure of oral discourse Style of public address Delivery Measures of effectiveness
Lloyd F. Bitzer, 1968 The Rhetorical Situation Exigence: an imperfection marked by an urgencya defect, an obstacle, something waiting to be done, a thing which is other than it should be. Not all exigences are rhetorical (only those which can be modified by discourse). Audience: only those who are capable of being influenced by discourse and of being mediators of change. Constraints: persons, events, objects, and relations which are parts of the situation because they have the power to constrain decision and action needed to modify the exigence.
The Rhetorical Situation, continued Bitzer defined the rhetorical situation as the "complex of persons, events, objects, and relations presenting an actual or potential exigence which can be completely or partially removed if discourse, introduced into the situation, can so constrain human decision or action as to bring about the significant modification of the exigence."
The Rhetorical Situation, continued 1. Exigence: What happens or fails to happen? Why is one compelled to speak out? 2. Persons: Who is involved in the exigence and what roles do they play? 3. Relations: What are the relationships, especially the differences in power, between the persons involved? 4. Location: Where is the site of discourse? e.g. a podium, newspaper, web page, etc. 5. Speaker: Who is compelled to speak or write? 6. Audience: Who does the speaker address and why? 7. Method: How does the speaker choose to address the audience? 8. Institutions: What are the rules of the game surrounding/constraining numbers 1 through 7. Analyzing the rhetorical situation (which, at its most fundamental, means identifying the elements above) can tell us much about speakers, their situations, and their persuasive intentions.
The Rhetorical Situation, continued. The ancient Greeks gave special attention to timing-- the "when" of the rhetorical situation. They called this kairos, and it identifies the combination of the "right" moment to speak and the "right" way (or proportion) to speak. An example: After a school board votes to fire a popular principal, a sympathetic parent might grab the microphone and scream invectives at the board. This would be bad kairos. Perhaps a better choice would be to recognize that a mild rebuke fits the situation followed by a well-timed letter to the editor or column in the school newsletter.
The 40-year Reign of Neo- Artistotelian Criticism (1925- 1965)
Edwin Black, Renegade (1965) …led a movement to break away from the constraints of the neo-Aristotelian approach: a particularly formulaic, unimaginative type of traditional criticism (147). In 1988 Stephen E. Lucas identified a renaissance of traditional analysis. Though no longer the dominant paradigm, some critics still use a modified traditional approach (to avoid the pitfalls of early neo-classical criticism.)
Michael C. Leff and Gerald P. Mohrmann, 1974 Lincoln at Cooper Union: A Rhetorical Analysis of the Text Wikipedia: Lincoln at Cooper Union These authors evaluate many of the same factors that Wichelns recommends [for traditional/neo- Aristotelian criticism], but broaden the analysis to consider Lincolns discourse as part of a genre (type) of political discourse (147).
Stephen Howard Browne, 2002 The Circle of Our Felicities: Thomas Jeffersons First Inaugural Address and the Rhetoric of Nationhood …demonstrates how a critic can attend to classical topics of criticism without being locked into a rigid formula (148). Situates the speech in the historical context, examines its immediate effects and enduring influence, and explains how the speech functions rhetorically. But also integrates elements of close textual analysis and genre criticism.
President Obamas SOTU 2012 Transcript of the speech Video of the speech How would a traditional (neo- classical, neo-Aristotelian) critic analyze this speech? How bout a NON- TRADITIONAL rhetorical critic? Wordclouds Obamas other rhetorical moment of the last week Obamas other rhetorical moment of the last week