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Rhetoric is an Ancient Art

Rhetoric is an ancient art that traces its origin back to the Greek, Roman, Renaissance and Medieval periods. It is mostly associated with the famous Greek philosophers, like Aristotle. Rhetoric defined as the means the art of using language to persuade people in the process of communication. Rhetoric was one of the main interests of Plato and Aristotle because they constantly engaged into philosophical arguments and debates that required the usage of language, morality and the truth to address the audiences they were dealing with. According to them, good rhetoric was based upon knowledge and the revelation of truth while bad rhetoric was perceived as exhibition which is not beneficial to the audience.

The Romans used rhetoric to develop speeches which later became their areas of specialization. The critical skills they used include speaking, reading and writing, which are of equal importance to communication. Rhetoric experts employ various techniques such as repetition, antithesis, alliteration, use of rhymes and sometimes pun to provide their messages to the targeted audience. Alliteration emphasizes ideas by concentrating the sense of an idea in a sharper and clearer outline. Rhymes make slogans easy to chant while repetition is used as a rhetoric technique for emphasis. In essence, the use of rhetoric bears in mind that the targeted people already have formed perceptions about certain ideas and so the involvement process in discussions is basically for meaningful engagement.

The word rhetoric may not be familiar to most people compared to the term communication, yet we use rhetoric in our daily communication activities without noticing. For example, persuading other people to do certain things like take us out for shopping or help us finish certain chores. In doing so, we must be able to convince in order to seem more credible to them. Using all these activities means employing rhetoric techniques. On other occasions, we have to give statistics to support our perceptions and arguments on particular issues. Moreover, to be successful in presenting facts it is better to use logical reasoning.  It is worth noting that studying rhetoric is still relevant in the modern day.

Aristotle states that the art of rhetoric is based on three major pillars that include the use of ethos, pathos and logos. The use of ethos means the speaker makes efforts to win the trust of the audience, while delivering the speech either in public or through interpersonal communication, have good character and display some sense of authority. Pathos is used to appeal to the emotions of the listeners. A speaker who has mastered the usage of this technique defines a clear boundary between exploiting the feelings of the listeners and articulating sincere empathy. Logos applies the use of logic and facts to support the speaker’s style of reasoning.

In analyzing the importance of using rhetoric in communication today, this paper provides a standardized meaning of communication; the process of sending designed messages to the targeted audience using the selected appropriate channels.

In the effort to merge the use of communication and rhetoric, it is important to keep in mind the targeted audience, and the message you what them to convey.  The audience is considered an individual or a group of people. The importance of rhetoric today is that it is integrated with communication activities. To some extent, both the communication and rhetoric contexts share similar elements such as the message, the medium, the audience and the main purpose of the topic. Communication today can borrow certain aspects from rhetoric’s nature such as being contingent, responsive, planned, motive oriented and adaptive to the situations and audiences. In order to succeed in effective communication and rhetoric, there should be nurtured a culture of creativity to enhance persuasion and facilitation of the process of writing.

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