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Saturday, December 22, 2012

Cicero and the Five Arts

The Five Arts: Cannons of Rhetoric

Rhetoric, as an art, has long been divided into five major categories or "canons":
  1. Invention
  2. Arrangement
  3. Style
  4. Memory
  5. Delivery
These categories have served both analytical and generative purposes. That is to say, they provide a template for the criticism of discourse (and orations in particular), and they give a pattern for rhetorical education. Rhetorical treatises through the centuries have been set up in light of these five categories, although memory and delivery consistently have received less attention. Rhetoric shares with another longstanding discipline, dialectic, training in invention and arrangement. When these disciplines competed, rhetoric was sometimes reduced to style alone.

Although the five canons of rhetoric describe areas of attention in rhetorical pedagogy, these should not be taken as the only educational template for the discipline of rhetoric. Treatises on rhetoric also discuss at some length the roots or sources of rhetorical ability, and specific kinds of rhetorical exercises intended to promote linguistic facility.



Anonymous said...

Madison Harper: it's interesting to know that there are specifically five categories but I wonder who comes up with these categories and why was their opinion the one chosen as correct?

Ana Tinta Com 101-4080 said...

I don't understand why memory would receive less attention? In my opinion, It seems like it would be very important and should be in the top three.

Interesting though...

Ana Tinta COM 101-4080 said...

I agree with comment #2. I also think that memory should be in the the top three.

Berenice said...

very interesting!

Anonymous said...

Colleen RT

It'sinteresting to know that there are 5 categories of rhetoric. I learn something new everyday.