EN 1006 Study Guide - Midterm Guide: Oral Poetry, Ancient Greek Calendars, Lentini

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28 Nov 2011
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Midterm Study Guide
Course: AS/EN 1007: Rhetoric: An Historical Introduction:
Term: Fall 2011
Course Director: Rosita Georgieva
re-read lecture and tutorial notes
get notes from your classmates if you don’t have any
exchange emails and form internal study groups to review and discuss
all terms together
Suggested Topics and Terms for Study
Lecture 1: Introduction:
- What is rhetoric?
Rhetoric is a way of persuasive speaking and writing, but we refer to
rhetoric mostly as a verbal art.
A discipline that uses skilful organization and effective language to
inform, move, and persuade people.
An art that has “two ends: persuasion, which is audience-directed, and
eloquence, which is most often form-and-style-directed” (The New
Princeton Encyclopedia of Poetry and Poetics, 1046).
--Areas of application
Political speeches
Legal speeches
All aspects of art
Lecture 2: Oral Style and Composition
--The Oral Tradition: contents, definition
DEFINITION: all the contents (below) that have been orally composed
and passed from generation to generation. These oral
“sharings” also pass along important cultural info, beliefs,
and values that are therefore preserved for future
Oral poetry
Epics, ballads, heroic lays, love lyrics, etc.
Oral stories
Fairy tales, myths, legends, fables, etc.
Carols, lullabies
Prayers, oracles, proverbs
Rituals, incantations, marriage vows
Riddles, street games, word games and puzzles
--Orality vs. literacy (differences)
--Types of oral and literate societies
Types of oral societies:
Pure/primary orality: writing is totally absent, non-literate
mainly oral communication
Residual orality: oral communication present in literate society,
oral, literacy and written coexist
Types of literate societies:
Scribal literacy: writing limited to small group of scribes (monks,
clergy, etc) or
the wealthy
Hyperliterate society: writing is embedded in society; people
constantly writing
--Theoretical Approach to Orality
The Oral Formulaic Theory:
Formula: a group of words/phrase that are regularly used in the
oral work to
express a central idea
Formulaic expression: a line or half-line made from the original
Theme: recurring motifs, incidents or passages
Ong’s list of 9 characteristics of oral thought and expression
(Orality and Literacy, 31-56):
I. Expression is additive rather than subordinative
II. Aggregative rather than analytic
III. Redundant or “copious”
IV. Conservative and traditionalist
V. Close to the human lifeworld
VI. Agonistically toned “orality situates knowledge within a
context of struggle”
VII. Empathetic and participatory rather than objectively distanced
VIII. Homeostatic “oral societies live very much in the present
which keeps itself in equilibrium or homeostasis by sloughing off
memories which no longer have present relevance.”
IX. Situational rather than abstract people in oral cultures tend to
think more about the situation the here and now rather than
the abstract hypothetical
Lecture 3: Literacy and the Power of Writing
--Spoken word vs. written word vs. print
--Origin and evolution of writing – historical survey
Origin of the Alphabet
First alphabet: the Egyptians in 2000 BC
1000 BC: Phoenician
800 BC: Greek
700 BC: Etruscans (Italy)
600 AD: Anglo-Saxons
Writing systems
--Residual orality and Classical Greece
6th BC: Polis as a system of government, Greek calendar invention,
education advanced by writing (Greek alphabet)
5th BC: “unparalleled cultural center”
-- Three main types of oratory: judicial, deliberative, epideictic
--Socratic Views vs. New Sophistic Education: methods and practice; views of
Major figures of sophistic education:
-- Gorgias, his Innovation, and “Encomium of Helen”
Born in 485-c.380 BC. in Leontini, a Greek colony in Sicily.
He arrived in Athens in 427 (ca. 60) and remained in Athens until the
end of his life
He shone very quickly with his poetic and oratorical skills
Major works:
Encomium of Helen
Defense of Palamedes
Lecture 4: Rhetorical Education
Educational Systems in Classical Greece
-- Early forms of education during Homeric times
People learned through apprenticeship and one-to-one training
Formal education appeared 6th – 7th BC
Education in letters: 5th BC
Music and sports: available to all citizens, lessons began at 7 years old
Rhetoric: art form requiring formal study
--5th c. B.C. and Sophistic education: summary of innovations to rhetorical
education and teaching methods
Birth of rhetoric as formal study: 467 BC
Fathers of rhetoric: Corax and Tisias
Taught students to win and to be triumphant
Claimed they could speak persuasively on any subject matter
Used arguments from probability, stylistic, elaboration and