Greek Oratory

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					Greek Oratory
                 Last Class
Ancient Comedy
  - Humor in Ancient
  - Aristophanes’
This Class
        1) Test
        2) Greek Oratory
             A) Grand
             B) Middle
             C) Plain
1) Test
            Test: March 24th
20% of Term Mark
  Lecture: 13: Symposia
  Lecture: 14: Sexuality
  Lecture: 15: Tragedy
  Lecture: 16: Comedy
  Lecture: 17: Oratory
  Lecture: 18: Philosophy
Section 1 MC: 11 x 1                           /11
  (Lectures 15 and 16)
Section 2 Identification: 3/5 x3               /9
  (Lectures 17 and 18)
Section 3 List questions: 2/4 x 5              /10
  (Lectures 13, 15, and 16)
Section 4 Response: 1/2 x10                    /10
  Chapter 5 – 83 – 114 (Lectures 13 and 14 )
2) Oratory
George Bush
      2a) Styles of Oratory and Greek
Speeches were very important in ancient Greece
  - law courts – prosecutors and defenders
  - assembly place – political decisions
  - festivals – praise of gods and the war-dead
  - literature – everything was read aloud either
       privately or publically

In the 5th century BC rhetoricians were travelling
   through Greece teaching how to speak well – with
   the promise that this would lead to more influence
   and power
                 Greek Oratory
Dionysus of Halicarnassus (Greek Rhetorician)
- Defines three styles: grand, middle, plain.
  - Grand -     remote, embellished style, rouse strong
  - Middle -    moves between the grand and plain
  - Plain -     everyday language, current idiom, ideas
                      are simply and concisely expressed,
                      great restraint is shown in the use of
                      rhetorical figures
     Greek Oratory – Example of Grand
                        StylePeloponnesian Wars
Thucydides – Historian of the

- presents well - terrible, remarkable, pathetic scenes
- unusual vocabulary, variety of rhetorical figures
- control over sound – smooth and pleasing or harsh
  and jarring as he sees fit
- austere and archaic – aims at dignity rather than
     Thucydides: On the Plague that Struck
• An aggravation of the existing calamity was the influx from the country into
  the city, and this was especially felt by the new arrivals. As there were no
  houses to receive them, they had to be lodged at the hot season of the year
  in stifling cabins, where the mortality raged without restraint. The bodies of
  dying men lay one upon another, and half-dead creatures reeled about the
  streets and gathered round all the fountains in their longing for water. The
  sacred places also in which they had quartered themselves were full of
  corpses of persons that had died there, just as they were; for as the disaster
  passed all bounds, men, not knowing what was to become of them, became
  utterly careless of everything, whether sacred or profane.
• All the burial rites before in use were entirely upset, and they buried the
  bodies as best they could. Many from want of the proper appliances,
  through so many of their friends having died already, had recourse to the
  most shameless sepultures: sometimes getting the start of those who had
  raised a pile, they threw their own dead body upon the stranger's pyre and
  ignited it; sometimes they tossed the corpse which they were carrying on
  the top of another that was burning, and so went off.
             Thucydides: On Stasis
So bloody was the march of the revolution, and the impression
  which it made was the greater as it was one of the first to occur.
  Later on, one may say, the whole Hellenic world was convulsed;
  struggles being everywhere made by the popular chiefs to bring
  in the Athenians, and by the oligarchs to introduce the
  Lacedaemonians. In peace there would have been neither the
  pretext nor the wish to make such an invitation; but in war, with
  an alliance always at the command of either faction for the hurt
  of their adversaries and their own corresponding advantage,
  opportunities for bringing in the foreigner were never wanting
  to the revolutionary parties. The sufferings which revolution
  entailed upon the cities were many and terrible, such as have
  occurred and always will occur, as long as the nature of
  mankind remains the same; though in a severer or milder form,
  and varying in their symptoms, according to the variety of the
  particular cases.
               Thucydides on Stasis
In peace and prosperity, states and individuals have better
   sentiments, because they do not find themselves suddenly
   confronted with imperious necessities; but war takes away the
   easy supply of daily wants, and so proves a rough master, that
   brings most men's characters to a level with their fortunes.
   Revolution thus ran its course from city to city, and the places
   which it arrived at last, from having heard what had been
   done before, carried to a still greater excess the refinement of
   their inventions, as manifested in the cunning of their
   enterprises and the atrocity of their reprisals. Words had to
   change their ordinary meaning and to take that which was
   now given them. Reckless audacity came to be considered the
   courage of a loyal ally; prudent hesitation, cowardice;
   moderation was held to be a cloak for unmanliness; ability to
   see all sides of a question, inaptness to act on any. Frantic
   violence became the attribute of manliness; cautious plotting,
   a justifiable means of self-defence.
          Greek Oratory: Plain Style
Lysias: Speech Writer for the Athenian Court – 5th to
  4th Century BC

-   ordinary vocabulary, speech of his day
-   few obvious rhetorical tricks
-   character and scene-building (must feel genuine)
-   lucidity, terseness of expression
-   smoothness of sound and style – it does not jar the
         Lysias: Murder of Eratosthenes
[5] I shall, then, reveal the whole story to you from the beginning, omitting
   nothing, but telling the truth. For I believe my only chance of survival lies in
   my telling you everything that has taken place.
[6] Now, Athenians, when I decided to get married and brought a wife into my
   house, for some time I did not wish to impose on her or let her be too free
   to do whatever she wanted. I used to keep an eye on her as far as I could,
   and give her a suitable amount of attention. But from the time my son was
   born I began to have more confidence in her, and I gave her full
   responsibility for my house, as I believed this to be the best type of
   domestic arrangement.
[7] Well, in the beginning, Athenians, she was the best of all wives, for she was
   clever and frugal in her running of the house, and carefully supervised every
   aspect of its management. But when my mother died, her passing proved to
   be the cause of all my problems.
[8] It was at her funeral, which my wife attended, that she was seen by this
   man and was eventually seduced. You see, by keeping watch for the times
   when our slave girl went to market and by propositioning her, he corrupted
       Lysias: Murder of Eratosthenes
• [9] First of all then, gentlemen, for I must also explain such details
  to you, I have a modest, two storey house, which has equal space
  for the women's and men's quarters on the upper and lower
  floors. When our child was born its mother nursed it, and, so that
  she would not risk a fall on her way downstairs whenever the baby
  needed bathing, I took to living on the upper level while the
  women lived downstairs.
• [10] From that time, then, it became such a regular arrangement
  that my wife would often go downstairs to sleep with the child to
  nurse it and to stop it crying. This was the way we lived for quite a
  while, and I never had any cause for concern, but carried on in the
  foolish belief that my wife was the most proper woman in the city.
• [11] Time passed, gentlemen, and I came home unexpectedly from
  the farm. After dinner the child started to cry and become restless.
  It was being deliberately provoked by our slave girl into behaving
  like this because that individual was in the house; I found out all
  about this later.
       Greek Oratory: Middle Style
Plato: Greek Philosopher, 4th Century BC

- the author/speaker shifts between the two styles
  as is necessary or suitable
- not as unified, moves you from the mundane
  world and simple language to higher ideals
  reinforced with rhetorical figures
                     Plato: Symposium
And now, my boys, I shall praise Socrates in a figure which will appear
  to him to be a caricature, and yet I speak, not to make fun of him,
  but only for the truth's sake. I say, that he is exactly like the busts
  of Silenus, which are set up in the statuaries, shops, holding pipes
  and flutes in their mouths; and they are made to open in the
  middle, and have images of gods inside them. I say also that he is
  like Marsyas the satyr. You yourself will not deny, Socrates, that
  your face is like that of a satyr. Aye, and there is a resemblance in
  other points too. For example, you are a bully, as I can prove by
  witnesses, if you will not confess. And are you not a flute-player?
  That you are, and a performer far more wonderful than Marsyas.
  He indeed with instruments used to charm the souls of men by the
  powers of his breath, and the players of his music do so still: for
  the melodies of Olympus are derived from Marsyas who taught
  them, and these, whether they are played by a great master or by
  a miserable flute-girl, have a power which no others have; they
  alone possess the soul and reveal the wants of those who have
  need of gods and mysteries, because they are divine. But you
  produce the same effect with your words only, and do not require
  the flute; that is the difference between you and him.
                Plato’s Symposium
When we hear any other speaker, even very good one, he
 produces absolutely no effect upon us, or not much, whereas
 the mere fragments of you and your words, even at second-
 hand, and however imperfectly repeated, amaze and possess
 the souls of every man, woman, and child who comes within
 hearing of them. And if I were not, afraid that you would
 think me hopelessly drunk, I would have sworn as well as
 spoken to the influence which they have always had and still
 have over me. For my heart leaps within me more than that
 of any Corybantian reveller, and my eyes rain tears when I
 hear them. And I observe that many others are affected in the
 same manner. I have heard Pericles and other great orators,
 and I thought that they spoke well, but I never had any similar
 feeling; my soul was not stirred by them, nor was I angry at
 the thought of my own slavish state.
   2b) Modern Examples of the 3 Styles
Grand                  Middle    Plain
Martin Luther King Jr.           George W. Bush
                  Barack Obama
                   Grand Style
Martin Luther King Jr. : I have a Dream

Washington DC, 1963
Lincoln Memorial, 250 000 participants of a civil rights
Made up of scripted and unscripted (the actual ‘I have
  a dream’ passage) parts

- subject matter, scope, tone, control of the subject
   and emotion, marked use of repetition, metaphor,
   simile, unusual language (archaic, biblical)
    Martin Luther King Jr.
‘I have a dream’ 17 Minutes
                    Middle Style
Barack Obama

New Hampshire Primary
January 2008

- has large scope, but returns to ordinary life and political
   goals (not all of which are easily unified), are some
   rhetorical tricks but very limited, unusual language –
   more often folksy rather than biblical, historical
Middle Style 13 Minutes
                 Plain Style
George W. Bush

2007 Funeral Speech for Gerald R. Ford

- unpretentious, human/personal, obvious
   rhetorical devices minimized, ‘ring true’
  Plain Style 7 Minutes
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Greek Philosophy