The Art of Rhetoric

The Art of Rhetoric

Introduction by: Hugh Lawson-Tancred
Translator: Hugh Lawson-Tancred
Notes by: Hugh Lawson-Tancred

  • Paperback
  • ISBN 9780140445107
  • 304 Pages
  • Penguin Classics
  • Adult


With the emergence of democracy in the city-state of Athens in the years around 460 BC, public speaking became an essential skill for politicians in the Assemblies and Councils – and even for ordinary citizens in the courts of law. In response, the technique of rhetoric rapidly developed, bringing virtuoso performances and a host of practical manuals for the layman. While many of these were little more than collections of debaters’ tricks, the Art of Rhetoric held a far deeper purpose. Here Aristotle establishes the methods of informal reasoning, provides the first aesthetic evaluation of prose style and offers detailed observations on character and the emotions. Hugely influential upon later Western culture, the Art of Rhetoric is a fascinating consideration of the force of persuasion and sophistry, and a compelling guide to the principles behind oratorical skill.

For more than seventy years, Penguin has been the leading publisher of classic literature in the English-speaking world. With more than 1,700 titles, Penguin Classics represents a global bookshelf of the best works throughout history and across genres and disciplines. Readers trust the series to provide authoritative texts enhanced by introductions and notes by distinguished scholars and contemporary authors, as well as up-to-date translations by award-winning translators.

Table of Contents

The Art of Rhetoric – Aristotle Translated with an Introduction and Notes by Hugh Lawson-Tancred

1. The Importance of Ancient Rhetoric
2. The Historical Background to the Rhetoric
3. Rhetoric as Techne
4. Psychology in the Rhetoric
5. Style and Composition
6. The Rhetorical Legacy of Aristotle
7. The Translation

THE ART OF RHETORICSection One: Introductory
Chapter 1.1. The Nature of Rhetoric
PART ONE: DEMONSTRATIONSection Two: The Genres of Oratory
Chapter 1.2. The Definition of Rhetoric
Chapter 1.3. The Genres
Section Three: Deliberation
Chapter 1.4. The Province of Deliberation
Chapter 1.5. Happiness
Chapter 1.6. The Good and the Expedient
Chapter 1.7. Relative Expediency
Chapter 1.8. Constitutions
Section Four: Display
Chapter 1.9. Display Oratory
Section Five: Litigation
Chapter 1.10. Injustice
Chapter 1.11. Pleasure
Chapter 1.12. The Criminal Mind
Chapter 1.13. Crime and Punishment
Chapter 1.14. Relatively Serious Crimes
Chapter 1.15. Non-technical Proofs
Chapter 2.1. The Role of Emotion and Character
Chapter 2.2. Anger
Chapter 2.3. Calm
Chapter 2.4. Friendship and Enmity
Chapter 2.5. Fear and Confidence
Chapter 2.6. Shame
Chapter 2.7. Favour
Chapter 2.8. Pity
Chapter 2.9. Indignation
Chapter 2.10. Envy
Chapter 2.11. Jealousy
Section Seven: Character
Chapter 2.12. Youth
Chapter 2.13. Old Age
Chapter 2.14. Prime
Chapter 2.15. Birth
Chapter 2.16. Wealth
Chapter 2.17. Power
Chapter 2.18. The Role of Common Topics
Chapter 2.19. The Topics of Possibility
Chapter 2.20. Example
Chapter 2.21. Maxim
Chapter 2.22. Enthymeme
Chapter 2.23. Demonstrative Common Topics
Chapter 2.24. Illusory Topics
Chapter 2.25. Refutation
Chapter 2.26. Amplification
Section Nine: Style
Chapter 3.1. Historical Preliminary
Chapter 3.2. Clarity
Chapter 3.3. Frigidity
Chapter 3.4. Simile
Chapter 3.5. Purity
Chapter 3.6. Amplitude
Chapter 3.7. Propriety
Chapter 3.8. Rhythm
Chapter 3.9. Syntax
Chapter 3.10. Wit and Metaphor
Chapter 3.11. Vividness
Chapter 3.12. Suitability to Genre
Section Ten: Composition
Chapter 3.13. Narration and Proof
Chapter 3.14. The Introduction
Chapter 3.15. Prejudice
Chapter 3.16. Narration
Chapter 3.17. Proof and Refutation
Chapter 3.18. Altercation
Chapter 3.19. The Epilogue

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