How Did The Context Of Rome Influence The Role Of Rhetoric During Roman Society?

How Did The Context Of Rome Influence The Role Of Rhetoric During Roman Society?

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1. How did the context of Rome influence the role of rhetoric in Roman society?
The absence of democracy in Rome scoetiy influence the role of rhetoric by not unitizing it prime purpose, which was to improve the aptitude of writers or speakers to guide, influence, or encourage a particular audiences in particular situations. Roman society saw no use for rhetoric other than for entertainment. Rhetoric was also taken as a competition between two speakers and who ever delivered the best-stylized speech and capture the audience would win. Since Roman society was built on a Republic or Empire, democracy was not needed. The other time rhetoric was used, was to praise an individual, who was in a higher class than the individual using rhetoric. Rome did not bring any new advances to improve upon their society other than copying Athens from technology of writing, government structure minus the democracy, and culture such as Civic Virtue. For example “With power in the hands of the emperor, whatever opportunities for deliberative oratory that previously had existed in the Senate all but disappeared”(308Williams). Since no deliberation was needed in a Republic, rhetoric became obsolete in Rome. The social class systems within Rome forbid anyone from threatening the hierarchy system. Since no one could debate the laws, rhetoric had no place in Rome society other than to entertain or praise an individual such as the emperor. In Rome, rhetoric was used in the courtroom as the patricians were on trial, while plebians looked onward as patrician’s lives hanged in the balance. When rhetoric was used in the courtroom, it was entrainment for the plebians as they finally see the patricians in a vulneravble position. The other time Romans would use...


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...it to convey their views on the audience to portray their ideal forms. Williams stated in the text, “Cicero stove to conflate rhetoric and philosophy, claiming that the prefect orator is a philosopher and that the philosopher must be an orator to convey his truths”(325Williams). Rhetoric inspired a specific audience in certain situations, the same way Philosophy was used to investigate the knowledge to find the truth. Since Philosophy was used to find the truth and dialectic had to form between the individuals, when dialectic transpired so did discourse between philosophers. Rhetoric was in use, when philosophers were looking for truth.


Williams, James. "October 21, 2015." Classical Rhetoric. FAU, Boca Raton, FL. 21 Aug. 2015. Lecture.Williams, James D. An Introduction to Classical Rhetoric: Essential Readings. Chichester, West Sussex, U.K.: Wiley-Blackwell, 2009.

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