Grass-root Level of Learning RHETORIC




What is RHETORIC?

Literally, the term ‘rhetoric’ roots from the Greek word “rhetor” meaning ‘public speaker’ or ‘public orator’. Rhetoric is an art, intended for swaying the feelings or emotions of a hearer or reader. It is the ‘whole art of elegant and effective composition, whether spoken or written. Aristotle, the master philosopher defines ‘rhetoric’ as “the faculty by which we understand what will serve our turn, concerning any subject to win belief in the hearer.” According to Locke, ‘rhetoric’ was the art of speaking with propriety, elegance and force”

On the whole, we may say that rhetoric is the study and practice of communication that persuades, informs, inspires, or entertains target audiences in order to change or reinforce beliefs, values, habits or actions.



Difference between ‘Grammar’ & ‘Rhetoric’

With the rules of composition, both ‘rhetoric’ and ‘grammar’ are inter-connected.

The basic purpose of learning ‘grammar’ is to speak or write a language correctly and clearly. By reading grammar one learns different rules, concerning sentence-structure, pronunciation, spelling, syntax, punctuation, and so on.


Apparently, the fundamental aim of learning rhetoric is to add stylistic beauty and grace to a language just like ornamenting a woman enhance her charm.


What is ‘Figure of Speech’?

The word ‘figure’ (Lat. ‘figura’) means ‘external structure’ or ‘outward shape’. It’s another meaning is ‘remarkable’. So “A figure of speech”, as observed by Bain, “is a deviation from the plain and ordinary way of speaking, for the sake of greater effect.” People are found to use them, often unconsciously or unknowingly, in their ordinary affairs of life. “They are” in the language of Martin, “the warp and woof of somebody’s speech.”

Classification of ‘Figure of Speech’


Generally, there are seven figures of speech:


                                1) Figure based on Similarity

                                2) Figure based on Contrast or Difference

                                3) Figure based on Association

                                4) Figure based on Imagination

                                5) Figure based on Sound

                                6) Figure based on Indirectness

                                7) Figure based on Construction



to be continued
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