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Arrangement and Rhetoric

Christopher Craig

Subject Linguistics
Communication Studies » Rhetorical Studies

Key-Topics speech

DOI: 10.1111/b.9781405131995.2008.x


The category of arrangement (Greek oikonomia , taxis ; Latin dispositio ) in classical rhetoric includes both the “natural” ordering of the parts of a speech and the changing or truncating of that order to adapt to specific circumstances. While it may also embrace the ordering of premises in arguments, those concerns are fully treated under invention rather than arrangement. Similarly, the most basic level of arrangement, that of individual words and clauses, is properly subsumed under style (→  Rhetoric, Greek ; Rhetoric, Roman ; Style and Rhetoric ). The canonical division of the parts of a speech derives from judicial rather than from deliberative or epideictic oratory. There are four essential parts . The introduction ( prooimion , exordium ) renders the audience well disposed, attentive, and receptive; the narration ( diegesis, narratio ) is brief, clear, and probable; the proof ( pistis, argumentatio ) is convincing; the conclusion ( epilogos, peroratio ) both summarizes and appeals to the →  emotions . Some writers add one or more other parts: after the narration, a proposition stating what is to be proven; a partition enumerating the different arguments to be advanced (common); a refutation, separated as a free-standing section following the proof (very common); and a digression immediately before the conclusion. Adaptive or “artistic” arrangement omits or transposes ... log in or subscribe to read full text

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