Cicero and the Art of Oratory Background Democracy turned into monarchy Decmocracy was much like Greece, very limited-power was through wealth. Roman senators held seats for life-term comes from ancient Rome. Political environment Ciecero was killed by empire and mixed political pursuits with advising roles and orator. B. Educational environment Teaching in Rome was a oral experience People in ancient Rome were very interested in rhetoric because of political and educational complex. Greeks were more philosophical and Romans wanted to bring together theory and practice and had less tolerance for philosophical dialogues. Education involved both practice and experience for Romans Knowledge for the Romans was both theoretical and practical. For Plato knowledge was theoretical C. Cicero showed intellectual and speaking promise early in life. 1. At age 19, he wrote De Inventione, which served as a keystone of rhetorical education for several centuries. Worked in Roman legal system Worked as political advisor 2. Cicero developed a stasis system (?stopping points?) to help legal advocates think through cases. Helped to ask what the relavant questions, and what do you have to know about a case to build an arguemtn Said there were questions of fact (what happened), questions of definition, questions of characteristics (was the murder planned) questions about procedure Still used today 3. De Oratore is a later work written while he was in exile. II. Cicero seeks to unify wisdom and eloquence. What?s the relationship between rhetoric and knowledge All authors we have read have different takes on this question A. Speech and knowledge comprise parts of a greater whole. ? ?Excellence in speaking cannot be made manifest unless the speaker fully comprehends the subject matter he speaks about.? ? ?Neither can anyone be eloquent upon a subject that is unknown to him, nor, if he knows it perfectly and yet does not know how to shape and polish his style, can speak fluently even upon that which he does know.? Both said by Crassus Two things to draw on: Knowledge are part of larger process You need both wisdom and eloquence Cicero wants to bring them together B. The orator?s unity makes him a superior advocate to the specialist. ? ?The orator will state it better than the actual discoverer and the specialist.? ? ?After learning the technicalities of each from those who know the same, the orator will speak about them far better than even the men who are masters of these arts.? These can be compared to the Gorgius, however what Cicero is demanding is the knowledge, but orator is able to add eloquence to the speech. Crassus and Antonius disagree about what the Orator needs to know. A. They agree that oratory builds on a base of natural talent. ? As Crassus states: ?In the first place natural talent is the chief contributor to the virtue of oratory. . . . For certain lively activities of the intelligence and the talents alike should be present? B. On this basis, Crassus demands the highest and most extensive levels of knowledge and training from the aspiring orator. ? Crassus: ?For in an orator we must demand the subtlety of the logician, the thoughts of the philosopher, a diction almost poetic, a lawyer?s memory, a tragedian?s voice, and the bearing almost of the consummate actor.? C. Antonius envisions the orator employing more specialized skills in limited realms. ? Antonius: ?[The orator is] a man who can use language agreeable to the ear, and arguments suited to convince, in law court disputes and in debates of public business.? ? ?The essential needs of an orator are many and weighty and hard to come by, so that I would not dissipate his energy over too wide a field of study.? Antonius has a more modest approach to the arts Can you know less than the specialist and still be credible on speaking on a issue Important to know they agree on the sense of unity D. The debate between Crassus and Antonius raises important questions about the relationship between rhetoric and knowledge. Crassus and Antonius share a view that theory is related to practice. The very theories we have on rhetoric come form the observations we make on other people. In speaking, an orator must adapt his rhetoric to his audience: ? ?In oratory, the very cardinal sin is to depart from the language of everyday life, and the usage approved by the sense of the community.? Underscorese theory and practice and rhetoric ? ?For all kinds of language we ourselves use in public speaking are changeable matter, and adapted to the general understanding of the crowd.? Primary responsibility of an orator is to connect to his audience. The theory of oratory arises from its practice. Greeks draw from philosophical Plato concepts from divine or abstract sources which you then apply to practices and correct them based on the true art of rhetoric. Cicero gives strong statements for where ideas are coming from. ? ?Actual things noticed in the practice and conduct of speaking have been heeded and recorded by men of skill and experience, if they have been defined in terms, illuminated by classification, and distributed under subdivisions.? Cicero flips on Platos idea, the practice shows what the eloquence is and one must adjust the theories to help demonstrate that We can see a strong difference between Cicero Plato and Aristotle. ? ?Persons have noted and collected the doings of men who were naturally eloquent: thus eloquence is not the offspring of the art, but the art of eloquence.? Aristotle thiks that practice must conform to theory.
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