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Rhetorical Studies in the «Aristocratea» of Demosthenes


Terry Papillon

Demosthenes (384-322 BCE) is one of the great orators from ancient Greece. His speech Against Aristocrates is a common source for information on history and law, but it has received little attention as evidence for the orator's rhetorical skill. The speech shows Demosthenes' innovative use of mixture in composition that goes beyond Aristotelian categories. Demosthenes addresses multiple goals and employs a mixture of approaches to get the jury to oppose Aristocrates and the political agenda he represents. Dr. Papillon places Demosthenes in his historical and rhetorical context and analyzes how Demosthenes addressed the complicated rhetorical situation. The study continues the growth of rhetorical criticism by joining neo-Classical analysis with the insights of twentieth-century rhetorical criticism. It reveals the strengths of this often neglected speech: the powerful case Demosthenes made on the specific issue at hand and the development of a type of discourse that served as a model for effective persuasion.