Aristotle, Rhetoric (English) (XML Header) [genre: prose] [word count] [Arist. Rh.].
<<Arist. Rh. 1407b Arist. Rh. 1408a (Greek) >>Arist. Rh. 1408b

1408a for instance “having gone and having conversed with him,” or, “having gone, I conversed with him.” Also the practice of Antimachus is useful, that of describing a thing by the qualities it does not possess; thus, in speaking of the hill Teumessus, [Note] he says, There is a little windswept hill;
for in this way amplification may be carried on ad infinitum. This method may be applied to things good and bad, in whichever way it may be useful. Poets also make use of this in inventing words, as a melody “without strings” or “without the lyre”; for they employ epithets from negations, a course which is approved in proportional metaphors, as for instance, to say that the sound of the trumpet is a melody without the lyre.

ch. 7 Propriety of style will be obtained by the expression of emotion and character, and by proportion to the subject matter. Style is proportionate to the subject matter when neither weighty matters are treated offhand, nor trifling matters with dignity, and no embellishment is attached to an ordinary word; otherwise there is an appearance of comedy, as in the poetry of Cleophon, [Note] who used certain expressions that reminded one of saying “madam fig.” Style expresses emotion, when a man speaks with anger of wanton outrage; with indignation and reserve, even in mentioning them, of things foul or impious; with admiration of things praiseworthy; with lowliness of things pitiable; and so in all other cases. Appropriate style also makes the fact appear credible; for the mind of the hearer is imposed upon [Note] under the impression that the speaker is speaking the truth, because, in such circumstances, his feelings are the same, so that he thinks (even if it is not the case as the speaker puts it) that things are as he represents them; and the hearer always sympathizes with one who speaks emotionally, even though he really says nothing. This is why speakers often confound their hearers by mere noise.

Character also may be expressed by the proof from signs, because to each class and habit there is an appropriate style. I mean class in reference to age—child, man, or old man; to sex—man or woman; to country—Lacedaemonian or Thessalian. I call habits those moral states which form a man's character in life; for not all habits do this. If then anyone uses the language appropriate to each habit, he will represent the character; for the uneducated man will not say the same things in the same way as the educated. But the hearers also are impressed in a certain way by a device employed ad nauseam by writers of speeches: [Note] “Who does not know?” “Everybody knows”; for the hearer agrees, because he is ashamed to appear not to share what is a matter of common knowledge.

The opportune or inopportune use of these devices



Aristotle, Rhetoric (English) (XML Header) [genre: prose] [word count] [Arist. Rh.].
<<Arist. Rh. 1407b Arist. Rh. 1408a (Greek) >>Arist. Rh. 1408b

Powered by PhiloLogic