The Six Functions Of Rhetoric

Decent Essays

It has been said that there is no clear definition of rhetoric. Throughout the years there have been many disputes over the meaning of this type of communication however, two specifics can be agreed on; rhetoric contains six distinguishing characteristics and six ultimate functions. The six distinguishing characteristics of rhetoric include that it is planned, adapted to an audience, reveals human motives, is responsive, seeks persuasion, and addresses contingent issues. The six functions of rhetoric include the theories that rhetoric test ideas, assists advocacy, distributes power, discovers facts, shapes knowledge, and builds communities. Due to its content, organization, and goal, Lincoln’s work falls into the category of rhetoric. On the other hand, because of the work’s intent, vocabulary, and emotion, Dickinson’s work is best described as a poem. Incidentally, Dickinson’s poem also contains multiple characteristics and functions of rhetoric. From the data collected and interpreted, we may categorize Lincoln’s “Second Inaugural Address” as a rhetorical speech and Dickinson’s “Success Is Counted Sweetest” as a poem containing rhetorical characteristics. Lincoln’s speech announces to announce to his people, the Union, the Civil War, was unavoidable. In his first few paragraphs, the President claims that he has no new knowledge of the war to present to the people that they do not already know. Lincoln goes on to explain how despite the Union’s progress in the war, there

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