Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Heather & Savanna's Perspective on The Art of Rhetoric

So Savanna and I decided that in order to make this year's AP English class epic, we should blog about some of the books we read. The first blog we're doing together, since we're together right now... =D
The book we were supposed to read this summer was The Art of Rhetoric, by Aristotle. Technically, neither Savanna or I really read the whole book, but we just completed a project on it so we read enough to finish said project.
I, Heather, think that this was the most boring book in the history of the planet, with perhaps the exception of Billy Budd by Herman Mellville. While Aristotle makes some good points about speeches, and audiences of speeches, and the speakers of speeches, I feel that his ranting on and on about every point is completely unnecessary. In our presentation we commented several times about his repetition, which is even something discussed in the book as an element of emphasis.
Our three main points of the presentation are "what makes an audience listen to a speaker or whatever", "pity makes people like you," and "the epiclogue"... excuse me, the epilogue. I'd go further into detail about these points, but I have a strange feeling that a) no one gives a crap, b) no one is reading this anyway, or c)...maybe I just don't feel like explaining every little thing.
Anyway, onward to Savanna about her opinion and analysis of the book.

Ok, so I read... pieces... of this stupid book. And you know what I think? I think it could be about a third of the size it is if Aristotle didn't repeat so much crap "for emphasis". Now put the book in plain english, and you've got a pamphlet instead of a book. You wanna know the basics? I'll tell you everything you can learn from The Art of Rhetoric. Right now. In an easy, numbered list.
1-Speech takes an audience.
2-For the audience to listen, you have to use Common Sense & Virtue.
3-Good Will is the same thing as Virtue.
4-Repeat stuff for emphasis.
5-Pity makes people like you.
6-People won't pity you if they're too happy or sad with their own lives. Find a content medium.
7-Make your audience hate your opponent/whatever you're not rooting for.
8-Make yourself look good.
9-Repeat stuff for emphasis.
10-Don't lie. They won't believe you.Besides, liars suck.
11-Pray that you're lucky enough to find the perfect audience.
12-Use EMOTIONAL PULL. (make em mad)
13-Have an epic closing statement... repeat some of your speech in it for emphasis!

And there you have it. Unless you enjoy reading that puts the general public to sleep, don't read this. I'll just make you a pamphlet.
Now go repeat something for emphasis.Savanna out.

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