A Guide to Oratory Speech Making Overview of the five stages of speech making: • inventio – coming up with ideas • dispositio – arranging the ideas • elocutio – the use of words appropriate to the ideas • memoria – learning the words and ideas by heart • pronuntiatio - using body and voice to effectively convey the speech Speech Making Structuring the speech: • exordium – a speech preparing the listener for what is to come • narratio – recounting the deeds done • partitio – the division into topics • confirmatio – the part of the speech which adds plausibility, authority and confirmation • reprehensio - the refutation of the opponent’s confirmatio • conclusio – drawing threads together, rousing hatred, making a complaint Some stylistic features asyndeton – lack of conjunctions In Verrem II.1.56 ‘Olympum vi, copiis, consilio, virtute cepit’ The asyndeton here serves to suggest an exhaustive list of Servilius’ qualities and resources, as opposed to Verres Some stylistic features hyperbole – exaggeration In Verrem II.1.53 ‘Aspendum vetus oppidum et nobile in Pamphylia scitis esse, plenissimum signorum optimorum’ The description of the town’s excellent qualities is exaggerated to make the impact of Verres’ crimes all the more severe. Some stylistic features tricolon – delivering ideas in threes In Verrem II.1.55 ‘pulcherrimam atque ornatissimam, Corinthum, plenissimam rerum omnium’ Notice the tricolon of superlatives which signify what a great haul of treasure Mummius carried off from Corinth and subsequently bestowed on Rome Some stylistic features exclamatio – an exclamation In Verrem II.1.54 ‘quae, malum, est ista tanta audacia atque amentia!’ Cicero’s exclamation at the mindlessness of the act is designed to display moral outrage. Some stylistic features argument by precedent In Verrem II.1.55 The entirety of chapter 55 lists a series of former generals who gave their spoils to the city of Rome rather than hording them at home. Some stylistic features pleonasm – the use of superfluous words In Verrem II.1.57 ‘tu quae ex fanis religiosissimis per scelus et latrocinium abstulisti’ Robbery is a crime or wicked act, hence scelus here is essentially superfluous and is added by Cicero to emphasise Verres’ character Some stylistic features praeteritio - saying you will not mention something and in so doing mentioning it In Verrem II.1.62 ‘sed ego omnia quae negari poterunt praetermittam’ Cicero has just alleged several acts of bad behaviour, only to say that he will pass over these things which can be denied Some stylistic features polysyndeton – use of many conjunctions In Verrem II.1.66 ‘homo, qui et summa gravitate et iam id aetatis et parens esset, obstipuit’ The list of Philodamus’ defining characteristics in polysyndeton serves to comprehensively demonstrate why Rubrius request is so offensive Some stylistic features These specific literary devices as well as a host of other rhetorically effective turns of phrase, choices of vocabulary and rhetorical commonplaces can be found throughout the speech. Credit will be given for use of the technical vocabulary but only when you can explain its effect. This is the most important skill.
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