ERIC Number: ED348695
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1992-Mar
Reference Count: N/A
"Declassicizing" Ancient Rhetoric: Toward a Reconstructed Rhetoric of Oral Performance.
Today's society is so bound by the conventions of print-based culture that it is almost impossible to recreate the spirit of the highly dynamic, ancient art form of rhetoric. Rhetoric's origins lie in the art of oral rhapsodic composing that involved a complex set of interrelated mental and linguistic patterns. Most contemporary scholars of composition have discussed ancient rhetoric exclusively in terms of producing written texts. However, the most important aspect of rhetoric was its oral performative nature. This discovery can inform and enrich the art of contemporary textual composition. As numerous critics have argued, the consciousness of a culture is largely shaped by its media, and in ancient Greece, this medium was the spoken language. A dramatic tension existed between spoken and written language. The various parts of rhetoric, such as ethos, pathos, style, delivery, and so on, were conceived of as entirely a part of the performative matrix. For today's classroom, an ongoing interaction between the individual engaged in the composing process and the emergent text is similar to the connection between performance and text in ancient rhetoric. As at various times throughout the history of rhetoric, today's society is a culture complicated by the interaction of distinctive media, and in this context, writing instructors may be ready for a revival and reassessment of ancient rhetoric as a performative art that is oral, textual, and visual all at once. (HB)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Opinion Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Classical Rhetoric; Composition Theory; Orality
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Conference on College Composition and Communication (43rd, Cincinnati, OH, March 19-21, 1992).