English Prose and Rhetoric An Introduction prose n

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English Prose and Rhetoric An Introduction

English Prose and Rhetoric An Introduction

prose n n n ‘straightforward discourse’. (Latin prosa or proversa oratio) a direct, unadorned

prose n n n ‘straightforward discourse’. (Latin prosa or proversa oratio) a direct, unadorned form of language, written or spoken, in ordinary usage. It differs from poetry or verse in that it is not restricted in rhythm, measure or rhyme. (Cuddon, J. A. A Dictionary of Literary Terms. New York: Doubleday & Company, Inc. , 1977, p. 525)

essay n A composition, usually in prose (Pope’s Moral Essays in verse are an

essay n A composition, usually in prose (Pope’s Moral Essays in verse are an exception), which …discusses, formally or informally, a topic or a variety of topics. It is one of the most flexible and adaptable of all literary forms. (Cuddon, J. A. , 1977, p. 239)

Other related terms n Prose poem: a composition printed as prose but distinguished by

Other related terms n Prose poem: a composition printed as prose but distinguished by elements common in poetry: such as elaborately contrived rhythms, figures of speech, rhyme, internal rhyme, assonance, consonance and startling images. (Cuddon, J. A. , 1977, p. 525) n Poetic prose: Prose which approximates to verse in the use of rhythm, perhaps even a kind of meter, in the elaborate and ornate use of language, and especially in the use of figurative devices like onomatopoeia, assonance and metaphor. Poetic prose is usually employed in short works or in brief passages in longer works in order to achieve a specific effect and to raise the ‘emotional temperature’. (ibid. , p. 509)

Major types of prose Periodical n Travel n Academic n (Auto)biographical n Fictional, etc.

Major types of prose Periodical n Travel n Academic n (Auto)biographical n Fictional, etc. n

Appreciating Rhetoric

Appreciating Rhetoric

Rhetoric and impression 1 3 2

Rhetoric and impression 1 3 2

[E. g. 1] Nature’s first green is gold, Her hardest hue to hold. Her

[E. g. 1] Nature’s first green is gold, Her hardest hue to hold. Her first leaf’s a flower; But only so an hour. Then leaf subsides to leaf, So Eden sank to grief, So dawn goes down to day. Nothing gold can stay. –Robert Frost

n [E. g. 2] It happen'd one Day about Noon going towards my Boat,

n [E. g. 2] It happen'd one Day about Noon going towards my Boat, I was exceedingly surpriz'd with the Print of a Man's naked Foot on the Shore, which was very plain to be seen in the Sand: I stood like one Thunderstruck, or as if I had seen an Apparition; I listen'd, I look'd round me, I could hear nothing, nor see any Thing; I went up to a rising Ground to look farther; I went up the Shore and down the Shore, but it was all one, I could see no other Impression but that one, I went to it again to see if there were any more, and to observe if it might not be my Fancy; but there was no Room for that, for there was exactly the very Print of a Foot, Toes, Heel, and every Part of a Foot; how it came thither, I knew not, nor could in the least imagine. --from Daniel Defoe, Robinson Crusoe

n [E. g. 3] I was standing in the sun on the hot steel

n [E. g. 3] I was standing in the sun on the hot steel deck of a fishing ship capable of processing a fiftyton catch on a good day. But it wasn' t a good day. We were anchored in what used to be the most productive fishing site in all of central Asia, but as I looked out over the bow , the prospects of a good catch looked bleak. Where there should have been gentle blue-green waves lapping against the side of the ship, there was nothing but hot dry sand – as far as I could see in all directions. The other ships of the fleet were also at rest in the sand, scattered in the dunes that stretched all the way to the horizon. Ten year’s ago the Aral was the fourth-largest inland sea in the world, comparable to the largest of North America's Great Lakes. Now it is disappearing because the water that used to feed it has been diverted in an ill-considered irrigation scheme to grow cotton in the desert. The new shoreline was almost forty kilometers across the sand from where the fishing fleet was now permanently docked. Meanwhile, in the nearby town of Muynak the people were still canning fish – brought not from the Aral Sea but shipped by rail through Siberia from the Pacific Ocean, more than a thousand miles away. --from AL Gore, Ships in the Desert

n [E. g. 4] Studies serve for delight, for ornament, and for ability. Their

n [E. g. 4] Studies serve for delight, for ornament, and for ability. Their chief use for delight, is in privateness and retiring; for ornament, is in discourse; and for ability, is in the judgement and disposition of business. For expert men can execute, and perhaps judge of particulars, one by one; but the general counsels, and plots and marshalling of affairs, come best from those that are learned. To spend too much time in studies is sloth; to use them too much for ornament, is affectation; to make judgement wholly by their rules, is the humour of a scholar. They perfect nature, and are perfected by experience: for natural abilities are like natural plants, that need proyning by study; and studies themselves do give forth directions too much at large, except they be bounded in by experience. –from Francis Bacon, Of Studies

n [E. g. 5] I have a dream today. I have a dream that

n [E. g. 5] I have a dream today. I have a dream that one day every valley shall be exalted, every hill and mountain shall be made low, the rough places will be made plains, and crooked places will be made straight, and the glory of the Lord shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see it together. This is our hope. This is the faith which I return to the South. With this faith we will be able to hew out of the mountain of despair a stone of hope. With this faith we will be able to transform the jangling discords of our nation into a beautiful symphony of brotherhood. With this faith we will be able to work together, to pray together, to struggle together, to go to jail together, to stand up for freedom together, knowing that we will be free one day. --from Martin Luther King Jr. , I Have a Dream

rhetoric ‘speaker in the assembly’ (Greek rhētōr) n Rhetoric is the art of using

rhetoric ‘speaker in the assembly’ (Greek rhētōr) n Rhetoric is the art of using language for persuasion, in speaking or writing; especially in oratory (i. e. , the art or practice of formal speaking in public). n (Cuddon, J. A. , 1977, p. 557)

Classic Rhetoric n n The Classical theoreticians codified rhetoric very thoroughly. A knowledge and

Classic Rhetoric n n The Classical theoreticians codified rhetoric very thoroughly. A knowledge and command of it was regarded as essential (in ancient Greece and Rome). In the Middle Ages rhetoric became part of the trivium (i. e. an introductory course at a medieval university. The other two subjects are logic and grammar. ). (ibid. )

Rules of Rhetoric n n n Invention: the discovery of the relevant material; Arrangement

Rules of Rhetoric n n n Invention: the discovery of the relevant material; Arrangement (or disposition): the organization of the material into sound structural form; Style: the consideration of the appropriate manner for the matter and the occasion (e. g. the grand style, the middle and the low or plain); Memory: the guidance on how to memorize speeches; Delivery: the technique for actually making a speech. (each of the above had a large number of subdivisions. ) (adapted from Ciceco’s theory, ibid. )

Being persuasive [E. g. 6] She was very beautiful, as the villagers usually said:

Being persuasive [E. g. 6] She was very beautiful, as the villagers usually said: the most beautiful I’d ever seen. n [E. g. 7]…she was very beautiful. She had a fair complexion and her eyes were full of femininity. She always smiled to people with two little dimples in the face. n

n [E. g. 8] My mistress' eyes are nothing like the sun; Coral is

n [E. g. 8] My mistress' eyes are nothing like the sun; Coral is far more red than her lips' red; If snow be white, why then her breasts are dun; If hairs be wires, black wires grow on her head. I have seen roses damasked, red and white, But no such roses see I in her cheeks; And in some perfumes is there more delight Than in the breath that from my mistress reeks. I love to hear her speak, yet well I know That music hath a far more pleasing sound; I grant I never saw a goddess go; My mistress when she walks treads on the ground. And yet, by heaven, I think my love as rare As any she belied with false compare. --William Shakespeare, Sonnet 130

n [E. g. 9] Shall I compare thee to a summer's day? Thou art

n [E. g. 9] Shall I compare thee to a summer's day? Thou art more lovely and more temperate: Rough winds do shake the darling buds of May, And summer's lease hath all too short a date: Sometime too hot the eye of heaven shines, And often is his gold complexion dimmed, And every fair from fair sometime declines, By chance, or nature's changing course untrimmed: But thy eternal summer shall not fade, Nor lose possession of that fair thou ow'st, Nor shall death brag thou wand'rest in his shade, When in eternal lines to time thou grow'st: So long as men can breathe or eyes can see, So long lives this, and this gives life to thee. –William Shakespeare, Sonnet 18

n [E. g. 10] She had on a kind of dirty-pink—beige maybe, I don’t

n [E. g. 10] She had on a kind of dirty-pink—beige maybe, I don’t know —bathing suit with a little nubble all over it and, what got me, the straps were down. They were off her shoulders looped loose around the cool tops of her arms, and I guess as a result the suit had slipped a little on her, so all around the top of the cloth there was this shining rim. If it hadn’t been there you wouldn’t have known there could have been anything whiter than those shoulders. With the straps pushed off, there was nothing between the top of the suit and the top of her head except just her, this clean bare plane of the top of her chest down from the shoulder bones like a dented sheet of metal tilted in the light. I mean, it was more than pretty. She had sort of oaky hair that the sun and salt had bleached, done up in a bun that was unravelling, and a kind of prim face. Walking into the A&P with your straps down, I suppose it’s the only kind of face you can have. She held her head so high her neck, coming up out of those white shoulders, looked kind of stretched, but I didn’t mind. The longer her neck was, the more of her there was. --John Updike, A&P

n [E. g. 11] She had on a kind of dirty-pink—beige maybe, I don’t

n [E. g. 11] She had on a kind of dirty-pink—beige maybe, I don’t know —bathing suit with a little nubble all over it and, what got me, the straps were down. They were off her shoulders looped loose around the cool tops of her arms, and I guess as a result the suit had slipped a little on her, so all around the top of the cloth there was this shining rim. If it hadn’t been there you wouldn’t have known there could have been anything whiter than those shoulders. With the straps pushed off, there was nothing between the top of the suit and the top of her head except just her, this clean bare plane of the top of her chest down from the shoulder bones like a dented sheet of metal tilted in the light. I mean, it was more than pretty. She had sort of oaky hair that the sun and salt had bleached, done up in a bun that was unravelling, and a kind of prim face. Walking into the A&P with your straps down, I suppose it’s the only kind of face you can have. She held her head so high her neck, coming up out of those white shoulders, looked kind of stretched, but I didn’t mind. The longer her neck was, the more of her there was. --John Updike, A&P

Different kinds of rhetoric n Communicative rhetoric n Diction (connotation and equivalency, choice of

Different kinds of rhetoric n Communicative rhetoric n Diction (connotation and equivalency, choice of diction, brevity, loan words, etc. ) n Syntax (simple/complex/compound sentence, various syntactic schemes, etc. ) n Aesthetic rhetoric (figures of speech, e. g. , simile, metaphor, metonymy, antonomasia, transferred epithet, etc. )

n [E. g. 12] Image-makers, after all, cannot alter the raw material they work

n [E. g. 12] Image-makers, after all, cannot alter the raw material they work with: they can only polish it. “My job is to present the best reality. We ignore the bad points and present the good. ” But the reality cannot always be prepackaged in this era of constant media attention. “Your guy is a surfer. The media are either with you or against you and you’ve got to catch the wave. ” (Jonathan Levine)

Rhetoric is the art of making choices. Rhetoric is the perspective. Rhetoric is a

Rhetoric is the art of making choices. Rhetoric is the perspective. Rhetoric is a way of life. …

Course Evaluation n 100 points in total; 10% attendance and performance; n 10% routine

Course Evaluation n 100 points in total; 10% attendance and performance; n 10% routine assignment; n 10% group work; n 70% final examination (Reading and Rhetoric Analysis + Appreciation of the Classics). n

Contact me Office: A 714 n Email: cdd@mail. xjtu. edu. cn n Tel: 18291999916

Contact me Office: A 714 n Email: [email protected] xjtu. edu. cn n Tel: 18291999916 n

Assignment Please read all the examples in the PPT again, and mark out the

Assignment Please read all the examples in the PPT again, and mark out the words or phrases you consider as aptly used. You can try replacing them by others to find out the difference they had made. n Write a brief comment based on your findings, and hand it in next time. n Please read ‘Hit the Nail on the Head’ before next class. n