Neo-Aristotelian Criticism Essay

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Rhetoric of Religion Crash Course in Rhetorical Criticism and Analysis Neo-Aristotelian Criticism Our first method of analysis. These methods we will be learning are ways for you to analyze pieces of rhetoric. Systematic ways to look at artifacts, all with an eye toward saying something interesting about how rhetoric works. Neo-Aristotelian Criticism The basic idea behind this approach is to judge the effectiveness of a piece of rhetoric. It’s a good foundational method. Some Basic Tenants of Neo-Aristotelian Criticism While literary criticism is concerned with permanence and beauty, Rhetorical Criticism is concerned with effect. Effect of rhetoric on an audience. Herbert Wilchens, the inventor of this method, argued that a rhetorical critic should look at the following in a speech/rhetorical artifact: • The speaker’s personality • Public perceptions of the speaker • The audience and what they’re like • The major ideas presented in the speech • The motives to which the speaker appealed • The nature of the speaker’s proofs • The arrangement of the speech • Effect of the speech on the audience in both the short and long term Procedure for Doing Neo-Aristotelian Criticism The main question one asks with this method is: Did the rhetor select the best rhetorical options available to him or her to evoke the intended response from the audience? Selecting an Artifact Speeches (and their transcripts) and other obvious arguments tend to be the best artifacts for this method. It’s based on classical rhetorical theory, which was developed for teaching people how to make speeches, so it works best on things that have a lot of words. Analyzing the Artifact You should do three things when analyzing your artifact: • Reconstruct the context. This includes learning about the rhetor, the audience, and the occasion. • Apply the canons.

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