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Lecture

On Style and Education

5 Pages
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Department
English
Course Code
EN 1006
Professor
Rosita Georgieva

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Description
Lecture 9 Notes: On Style and Elocution 1. Rhetorical Education: Focus on Style --What is style? And why does it matter to us? Dictionary definitions: --a form of appearance, design, or production --type or make (a new style/type of house) -- manner – the way in which something is done, in a good or bad style --a distinctive manner of expression in words, music, painting, etc. --elegance or refinement of manners, dress, etc. --prevailing fashion in dress, looks, etc. -- to live in style: a fashionable way of existence -- the unique way in which people express themselves or present themselves in the best way that is close to who they really are or want to be What kind of precepts do we need to study if we want to acquire the knowledge of various styles? (Corbett and Connors, “Classical Rhetoric for the Modern Student”) --grammatical competence --choice of diction through building an adequate vocabulary Kinds of diction: General or specific, Abstract or concrete; Formal or informal --composition of the sentence length of sentences and kinds of sentences: Grammatical: simple, compound, complex, compound-complex Rhetorical: loose, periodic, balanced, antithetical Functional: statement, question, command, exclamation variety of sentence patterns: Inversions, sentence openers, expansions sentence euphony --use of figures of speech --length of paragraphs and development in paragraphs Style in Rhetoric Its Latin root (elocution) -- “speaking out”, of expressing Greek word for style (lexis)– “thought”, “word”, and “speaking” 3 levels of style known in the classical period: low or plain style, middle or forcible style, high or florid style; Style in rhetoric involves the arrangement of words; use of figurative language; arguments like the functional vs. the ornamental, and economy of words vs. copia of words Four major writers and critics of style of the late Classical and Medieval periods: a)--Dionysius (60- 8 B.C.) of Halicarnassus --an attempt to restore the Attic style and classical standard of rhetoric – On the Arrangement of Words – a rhetorical handbook and a major text of literary criticism --preference of a mixed style – one that is between the austere and the smoothly polished styles b)--Demetrius (a man of unknown identity; scholars suggest that he lived around 83 AD, wrote On Style) --he divided style into four types: plain, grand (elevated), elegant, forceful --his preference of the one that has force and vigour rd c).--Longinus (a famous rhetorician of 3 AD, or an early critic of the same name of the 1 AD), one of the innovators of literary criticism, On Great Wriing, or On the Sublime, --tries to explain why certain works are excellent and whether great writers are born or made; --defines sublimity (hypsos) as the moral and imaginative power of the writer; insists that greatness can be found in the innate abilities of the artist rather than in the art itself - identifies the sources of excellence or sublimity as: --the power/greatness of thought --impact --intensity --figures of speech --noble diction -- word arrangement d)--Hermogenes of Tarsus (about 2 c AD), orator and rhetorician; On Types of Style He identifies 7 basic excellences of style, some of which have subdivisions; they were all interwoven in the works of Demosthenes --clarity --grandeur --beauty --rapidity --character --sincerity --force 3. Theories of Style after the Middle Ages --Renaissance humanism; the role of the church as today’s government in all bureaucratic structures: birth, deaths, marriage, etc.; The university life – for the wealthy, educated classes with intentions to become priests --Desiderius Erasmus (1469, Holland--1536, Switzerland), humanist, a 16 c. th scholar who established the model for the English grammar-school curriculum and rhetorical training in the English schools --a number of major textbooks: De Copia-- “plenty and abundance” copia orat
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