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ERIC Number: ED072476
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1972-Dec
Pages: 23
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: N/A
The Myth-Making Function of the Rhetoric of the American Revolution: Francis Hopkinson as a Case Study.
Ritter, Kurt W.
The author suggests a critical approach to the rhetoric of the American Revolution focusing on the concept of "myth-making. This operates in revolutionary rhetoric when the revolutionist creates a spiritual dynamism for his movement through appeals that suggest the sanction of supra-rational forces. The author applies this concept to the persuasive literature of an American Revolutionary propagandist, Francis Hopkinson. He reveals a close interaction of aggressive rhetoric and unifying rhetoric, operating to generate an American identity, which included a shared vision of both the national character and the destiny of America. He points to such words as "liberty,""genius," and "commerce," as unifying symbols or the ultimate terms of that period. He suggests that in order to grasp the full significance of American Revolutionary rhetoric, scholars focus their attention on the myth-making function. He concludes that the rhetoric of the Revolution was more than manipulated; it expressed ideas with personal significance to both rhetors and auditors--ideas with perhaps lasting impact on the future development of American public address. (Author/RN)
Publication Type: N/A
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: N/A
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A