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Home :: Archive :: 1996 :: November ::
Rhetorical Resources
Shakespeare Electronic Conference, SHK 7.0816.  Monday, 11 November 1996.

From:           Eric Armstrong <
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Date:           Monday, 11 Nov 1996 15:42:58 -0500
Subject:        Rhetorical Resources

Dear Shakesper-ians

Thanks to reading the discussion on henDIadys, I have begun thinking about
rhetorical devices and/or figures.

I am trying to develop some sort of resource for learning Rhetorical devices.
My hope is that understanding the Schemes and Tropes used in Renaissance
writing and use of rhetoric will help actors to use them as they discover them
in both classical texts, where they are used with intent and modern texts,
where they may be lurking, unbeknownst to actor, playwright... I imagine that
these devices are part of good, clear thinking rather than just party pieces to
make a speech "showy".

So I am looking for great examples of each and every one of these devices, in
the hope that I might develop some sort of curriculum (maybe even a web page?)
to help others learn a/ what each scheme or trope looks like and b/ how to USE
a certain scheme or trope in an improvisation manner and c/remember the names
(and pronumciations) of the silly things.

So far I am looking at Gert Ronberg's  _A way with WORDS: The language of
English Renaissance literature_ ISBN 0-340-49307-0 as a great source of
non-Shakespearean examples, and pronunciations of each term.

Other recommendations? Does someone know enough Latin &/or Greek to help me
understand why Ploce is called Ploce (and sometimes  Ploche) and whether it
rhymes with Ho-Chi (min) or not? Do people teach these things to students, or
do they leave them to the students to figure out? When do they teach them (at
what level)? Have you REALLY got all those terms memorized, or do you have to
look up Parison or Isocolon each time you think of them...? I have heard of
other terms for some poetic devices - things like "cutted comma" or "ladder"...
does anyone know who made those things up? And are they really useful? Or are
they MORE useful, more memorable than the parisons, isocolons and antimetaboles
of this field?

To put it more bluntly, HELP! I would love to hear some suggestions as to where
I might turn, where I should direct my students...

Thanks in advance,
eric
 

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