Wednesday, August 20, 2008

“The art of enchanting the soul…”

… defines rhetoric for Socrates. According to Webster’s dictionary, rhetoric is the art of speaking or writing effectively but also the skill in the effective use of speech. We experience this art in speeches and in writing, and even though we might think of rhetoric as a relatively new discipline, it has been around for quite some time. Rhetoric was developed in the year 600 BC by the philosophers called Sophists. Since then, rhetoric has been present in fields like politics, law, public relations, and lobbying.

We are now in the middle of the national elections campaign and the use of rhetoric in speeches is fundamental. These speeches will show us down the road, where we were, what was happening in this country at a certain period of time, and also how much things had changed. One of our recent books here at the Faulk Central Library talks about this particular type of speeches: Live from the campaign trail: the greatest presidential campaign speeches of the twentieth century and how they shaped modern America.

But, as you know, speeches can be about pretty much everything, not only politics. This is the case of other two recent books titled: Mistress of herself: speeches and letters of Ernestine Rose, early women's rights leader and Charge! : history's greatest military speeches.

If you would like to listen or view videos of different speeches in the history of America, I recommended the web site American Rhetoric, which has hundreds of original recordings of speeches important in American history.

1 comment:

MATERIA said...

What made him toxic death?