Cicero "De Oratore"

Purpose of “De Oratore”
to describe the ideal orator and imagine him as a moral guide of the state

Moral principles
can be taken either by the examples of noble men of the past or by the great Greek philosophers

Perfect orator
both an expert of rhetorical technique and a man of wide knowledge in law, history, and ethical principles

Importance of rhetoric
“A knowledge of very many matters must be grasped…without which oratory is but an empty and ridiculous swirl of verbiage”

Rhetoric as a non-art
if there are no rules, (pointless?)

Rhetoric as an art
if there are rules, it is teachable and can be studied; if you use handbooks, rules, and divisions, but the question of rhetoric as an art does not matter. People may argue that it matters as an art for the sake of arguing about something, but it does not make or break what rhetoric does.

Rhetorical genres
deliberative, forensic, epideictic

Forensic
wanted to defend themselves in the court of law; needed to be able to defend yourself because the consequences of being found guilty are bad

Deliberative
unnecessary because people did not have a say in politics

Epideictic
wanted to get rid of it altogether because it is too broad of a genre

Delivery resources (most important cannon)
Voice, eyes, face, gestures, speech personality, delivery vs. style

Voice
vocal variety, tone based on emotion, influence audience

Eyes
“reflection of the soul,” eye contact, share soul with audience

Face
“image of the soul,” can be controlled, facial expressions, mouth movement

Gestures
hands, arms, fingers can be wielded like a weapon, pull words out of mouth

Speech personality (emotions)
Convey your emotions through the delivery of a speech; learned, but natural talent of delivery

Delivery
the way you say things

Style
content of the speech: words themselves

Role of philosophers (dialectic)
wisdom and knowledge

Role of orators (rhetoric)
preferred by Cicero; combine knowledge of art with persuasion more productive; convey knowledge and wisdom to public

Aristotle’s ideal man
combination of philosopher and orator; has style (choice of words/arrangement), memory (knowledge), delivery (gestures, expressions, and voice tone)

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