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Speech/Debate: Rhetoric in the Statesmanship of More Curriculum Unit

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NOTE: The following material was created by Dr. Ellen Carney, literature teacher at Bronxville High School, New York.

 

Links that direct you to an external site are followed by braces { } including the name of the website.

 

Contents

 

I. Aristotle's Account of Rhetoric

II. More's Rhetoric of Silence: Confrontation with Cardinal Wolsey in Parliament

III. Rhetoric in More's Letters: Letter to Oxford, Letter to Erasmus

IV. Rhetoric of Shakespeare and More

V. Rhetoric in More's Richard III

 

To teach an introduction to rhetoric, begin with the following excerpt from Aristotle's Rhetoric, then use the examples of More's rhetoric in his letters, in Shakespeare, and in his Richard III to demonstrate the points in the Rhetoric, using the study questions at the end of each selection.

 

 

I. Aristotle's Account of Rhetoric

* See the full text of the Rhetoric {The Internet Classics Archive, MIT}

 

Definition

Rhetoric may be defined as the faculty of observing in any given case the available means of persuasion. This is not a function of any other art. Every other art can instruct or persuade about its own particular subject-matter;  for instance, medicine about what is healthy and unhealthy, geometry about the properties of magnitudes, arithmetic about numbers, and the same is true of the other arts and sciences. But rhetoric we look upon as the power of observing the means of persuasion on almost any subject presented to us; and that is why we say that, in its technical character, it is not concerned with any special or definite class of subjects….(1.2, 1355b26-36)

 

The three kinds of Persuasion:  ethos, pathos, logos

Of the modes of persuasion furnished by the spoken word there are three kinds. The first kind depends on the personal character of the speaker [ethos]; the second in putting the audience into a certain frame of mind (i. e. the right, fit, required frame of mind [i.e. pathos]); the third on the proof, or apparent proof, provided by the words of the speech itself [logos]. Persuasion is achieved by the speaker's personal character when the speech is so spoken as to make us think him credible. We believe good men more fully and more readily than others: this is true generally whatever the question is, and absolutely true where exact certainty is impossible and opinions are divided. This kind of persuasion, like the others, should be achieved by what the speaker says, not by what people think of his character before he begins to speak. It is not true, as some writers assume in their treatises on rhetoric, that the personal goodness revealed by the speaker contributes nothing to his power of persuasion; on the contrary, his character [ethos] may almost be called the most effective means of persuasion he possesses. Secondly, persuasion may come through the hearers, when the speech stirs their emotions [pathos]. Our judgments, when we are pleased and friendly, are not the same as when we are pained and hostile. It is towards producing these effects, as we maintain, that present-day writers on rhetoric direct the whole of their efforts. This subject shall be treated in detail when we come to speak of the emotions. Thirdly, persuasion is effected through the speech itself when we have proved a truth or an apparent truth by means of the persuasive arguments suitable to the case in question [logos].

There are, then, these three means of effecting persuasion. The man who is to be in command of them must, it is clear, be able (1) to reason logically, (2) to understand human character and goodness in their various forms, and (3) to understand the emotions— that is, to name them and describe them, to know their causes and the way in which they are excited. It thus appears that rhetoric is an offshoot of dialectic and also of ethical studies.… (1.2, 1356a1-26)

When people are feeling friendly and placable, they think one sort of thing; when they are feeling angry or hostile, they think either something totally different or the same thing with a different intensity: when they feel friendly to the man who comes before them for judgment, they regard him as having done little wrong, if any; when they feel hostile, they take the opposite view. Again, if they are eager for, and have good hopes of, a thing that will
be pleasant if it happens, they think that it certainty will happen and be good for them: whereas if they are indifferent or annoyed, they do not think so…. The Emotions are all those feelings that so change men as to affect their judgments… (2.1, 1377b31-1378a21)

 

Types of Character as Influenced by Emotion, Age, and Fortune

Let us now consider the various types of human character, in relation to the emotions and moral qualities, showing how they correspond to our various ages and fortunes. By emotions I mean anger, desire, and the like; these we have discussed already. By moral qualities I mean virtues and vices; these also have been discussed already, as well as the various things that various types of men tend to will and to do. By ages I mean youth, the prime of life, and old age. By fortune I mean birth, wealth, power, and their opposites—in fact, good fortune and ill fortune. (2.12, 1388b32-1389a2)

 

Emotions Dominant in Youth

To begin with the Youthful type of character. Young men have strong passions, and tend to gratify them indiscriminately. Of the bodily desires, it is the sexual by which they are most swayed and in which they show absence of self-control. They are changeable and fickle in their desires, which are violent while they last, but quickly over: their impulses are keen but not deep-rooted, and are like sick people's attacks of hunger and thirst. They are hot-tempered and quick-tempered, and apt to give way to their anger; bad temper often to gets the better of them, for owing to their love of honor they cannot bear being slighted, and are indignant if they imagine themselves unfairly treated. While they love honor, they love victory still more; for youth is eager for superiority over others, and victory is one form of this. They love both more than they love money, which indeed they love very little, not having yet learnt what it means to be without it—this is the point of Pittacus' remark about Amphiaraus. They look at the good side rather than the bad, not having yet witnessed many instances of wickedness. They trust others readily, because they have not yet often been cheated. They are sanguine; nature warms their blood as though with excess of wine; and besides that, they have as yet met with few disappointments. Their lives are mainly spent not in memory but in expectation; for expectation refers to the future, memory to the past, and youth has a long future before it and a short past behind it: on the first day of one's life one has nothing at all to remember, and can only look forward. They are easily cheated, owing to the sanguine disposition just mentioned. Their hot tempers and hopeful dispositions make them more courageous than older men are; the hot temper prevents fear, and the hopeful disposition creates confidence; we cannot feel fear so long as we are feeling angry, and any expectation of good makes us confident. They are shy, accepting the rules of society in which they have been trained, and not yet believing in any other standard of honor. They have exalted notions, because they have not yet been humbled by life or learnt its necessary limitations; moreover, their hopeful disposition makes them think themselves equal to great things—and that means having exalted notions. They would always rather do noble deeds than useful ones: their lives are regulated more by moral feeling than by reasoning; and whereas reasoning leads us to choose what is useful, moral goodness leads us to choose what is noble. They are fonder of their friends, intimates, and companions than older men are,
because they like spending their days in the company of others, and have not yet come to value either their friends or anything else by their usefulness to themselves. All their mistakes are in the direction of doing things excessively and vehemently. They disobey Chilon's precept by overdoing everything; they have much and hate too much, and the same with everything else. They think they know everything, and are always quite sure about this, in fact, is why they overdo everything. If they do wrong others, it is because they mean to insult them, not to do them actual harm. They are ready to pity others, because they think every one is an honest man or anyhow other that he is: They judge their neighbor by their own harmless natures, and so cannot think he deserves to be treated in that way. They are fond of fun and therefore witty, wit being well-bred insolence. (2.12, 1389a3-1389b11)

 

Emotions Dominant in the Elderly

Such, then, is the character of the Young. The character of the Elderly—those who are past their prime—may be said to be formed for the most part of elements that are the contrary of all these. They have lived many years; they have often been taken in, and often made mistakes; and life on the whole is a bad business. The result is that they are sure about nothing and under-do everything. They “think”, but they never “know”; and because of their hesitation they always add a “possibly” or a “perhaps”, putting everything this way and nothing positively. They are cynical; that is, they tend to put the worse construction on everything. Further, their experience makes them distrustful and therefore suspicious of evil. Consequently they neither love warmly nor hate bitterly, but following the hint of Bias they love as though they will some day hate and hate as though they will some day love. They arc small-minded, because they have been humbled by life: their desires are set upon nothing more exalted or unusual than what will help them to keep alive. They are not generous, because money is one of the things they must have, and at the same time their experience has taught them how hard it is to get and how easy to lose. They are cowardly, and are always anticipating danger; unlike that of the young, who are warm-blooded, their temperament is chilly; old age has paved the way for cowardice; fear is, in fact, a form of chill. They love life; and all the more when their last day has come, because the object of all desire is something we have not got, and also because we desire most strongly that which we need most urgently. They are too fond of themselves; this is one form that small-mindedness takes. Because of this, they guide their lives too much by considerations of what is useful and too little by what is noble—for the useful is what is good for oneself, and the noble what is good absolutely. They are not shy, but shameless rather; caring less for what is noble than for what is useful, they feel contempt for what people may think of them. They lack confidence in the future; partly through experience—for most things go wrong, or anyhow turn out worse than one expects; and partly because of their cowardice. They live by memory rather than by hope; for what is left to them of life is but little as compared with the long past; and hope is of the future, memory of the past. This, again, is the cause of their loquacity; they are continually talking of the past, because they enjoy remembering it. Their fits of anger are sudden but feeble. Their sensual passions have either altogether gone or have lost their vigor: consequently they do not feel their passions much, and their actions are inspired less by what they do feel than by the love of gain. Hence men at this time of life are often supposed to have a self-controlled character; the fact is that their passions have slackened, and they are slaves to the love of gain. They guide their lives by reasoning more than by moral feeling; reasoning being directed to utility and moral feeling to moral goodness. If they wrong others, they mean to injure them, not to insult them. Old men may feel pity, as well as young men, but not for the same reason. Young men feel it out of kindness; old men out of weakness, imagining that anything that befalls any one else might easily happen to them, which, as we saw, is a thought that excites pity. Hence they are querulous, and not disposed to jesting or laughter—the love of laughter being the very opposite of querulousness.

Such are the characters of the Young and the Elderly. People always think well of speeches adapted to, and reflecting, their own character: and we can now see how to compose our speeches so as to adapt both them and ourselves to our audiences. (2.13, 1389b12-1390a27)

 

Emotions Dominant in the Prime of Life

As for those in their Prime, clearly we shall find that they have a character between that of the young and that of the old, free from the extremes of either. They have neither that excess of confidence which amounts to rashness, nor too much timidity, but the right amount of each. They neither trust everybody nor distrust everybody, but judge people correctly. Their lives will be guided not by the sole consideration either of what is noble or of what is useful, but by both; neither by parsimony nor by prodigality, but by what is fit and proper. So, too, in regard to anger and desire; they will be brave as well as temperate, and temperate as well as brave; these virtues are divided between the young and the old; the young are brave but intemperate, the old temperate but cowardly. To put it generally, all the valuable qualities that youth and age divide between them are united in the prime of life, while all their excesses or defects are replaced by moderation and fitness. The body is in its prime from thirty to five-and-thirty; the mind about forty-nine. (2.14, 1390a28-1390b10)

 

How Fortune Affects Character

So much for the types of character that distinguish youth, old age, and the prime of life. We will now turn to those Gifts of Fortune by which human character is affected.  (2.15, 1390b13-15)

 

The Well-Born

First let us consider the Well-Born. Its effect on character is to make those who have it more ambitious; it is the way of all men who have something to start with to add to the pile, and good birth implies ancestral distinction. The well-born man will look down even on those who are as good as his own ancestors, because any far-off distinction is greater than the same thing close to us, and better to boast about…. (2.15, 1390b15-22)

 

The Wealthy

The type of character produced by Wealth lies on the surface for all to see. Wealthy men are insolent and arrogant; their possession of wealth affects their understanding; they feel as if they had every good thing that exists; wealth becomes a sort of standard of value for everything else, and therefore they imagine there is nothing it cannot buy. They are luxurious and ostentatious; luxurious, because of the luxury in which they live and the prosperity which they display; ostentatious and vulgar, because, like other people’s, their minds are regularly occupied with the object of their love and admiration, and also because they think that other people's idea of happiness is the same as their own. It is indeed quite natural that they should be affected thus; for if you have money, there are always plenty of people who come begging from you. Hence the saying of Simonides about wise men and rich men, in answer to Hicro's wife, who asked him whether it was better to grow rich or wise. “Why, rich,” he said; “for I see the wise men spending their days at the rich men's doors.” Rich men also consider themselves worthy to hold public office; for they consider they already have the things that give a claim to office. In a word, the type of character produced by wealth is that of a prosperous fool. There is indeed one difference between the type of the newly-enriched and those who have long been rich: is the newly-enriched have all the bad qualities mentioned in an exaggerated and worse form—to be newly-enriched means, so to speak, no education in riches. The wrongs they do others are not meant to injure their victims, but spring from insolence or self-indulgence, e. g. those that end in assault or in adultery. (2.16, 1390b1-1391a19)

 

The Powerful

As to Power: here too it may fairly be said that the type of character it produces is mostly obvious enough. Some elements in this type it shares with the wealthy type, others are better. Those in power are more ambitious and more manly in character than the wealthy, because they aspire to do the great deeds that their power permits them to do. Responsibility makes them more serious: they have to keep paying attention to the duties their position involves. They are dignified rather than arrogant, for the respect in which they are held inspires them with dignity and therefore with moderation—dignity being a mild and becoming form of arrogance. If they wrong others, they wrong them not on a small but on a great scale….  (2.17, 1391a20-29)

 

Usefulness of Jests

Jests…are supposed to be of some service in controversy. Gorgias said that you should kill your opponents' earnestness with jesting and their jesting with earnestness; in which he was right. Jests have been classified in the Poetics. Some are becoming to a gentleman, others are not; see that you choose such as become you. Irony better befits a gentleman than buffoonery; the ironical man jokes to amuse himself, the buffoon to amuse other people. (3.18, 1419b2-8)

 

Study Questions -- Aristotle's Rhetoric

 

1. How does Aristotle define rhetoric? What are ethos, pathos, and logos?

2. Why must leaders who wish to be effective understand rhetoric?

3. What is the most important factor in persuading others? Why?

4. Why is an understanding of the emotions a necessary part of effective rhetoric? Give two examples.

5. Why must leaders understand how age and fortune affect character?

6. Is rhetoric important in other spheres of activity, such as friendship?  How does Plutarch’s understanding of candor reflect his awareness of the importance of good rhetoric?

7. What are the chief forms of rhetoric encountered in the contemporary world?

8. Is all rhetoric – and are all rhetoricians – equally well-motivated?  How might one learn to recognize bad rhetoric?

 

 

II. More's Rhetoric of Silence: Confrontation with Cardinal Wolsey in Parliament

* Use the painting "Thomas More Defending the Liberty of the House of Commons," which is explained on our Logo page and on its own Gallery page, in tandem with the following explanatory except.

 

More's Confrontation with Cardinal Wolsey in the Parliament of 1523 (from William Roper's Life of Sir Thomas More):

 

At this Parliament Cardinal Wolsey found himself much grieved with the Burgesses thereof, for that nothing was so soon done or spoken therein but that it was immediately blown abroad in every alehouse. It fortuned at that Parliament a very great subsidy to be demanded, which the Cardinal fearing would not pass the Common House, determined for the furtherance thereof to be there personally present himself. Before whose coming, after long debating there, whether it were better but with a few of his lords (as the most opinion of the House was) or with his whole train royally to receive him there amongst them. "Masters," quoth Sir Thomas More, "forasmuch as my Lord Cardinal lately, you wot [know] well, laid to our charge the lightness of our tongues for things uttered out of this House, it shall not in my mind be amiss with all his pomp to receive him, with his maces, his pillars, his pole-axes, his crosses, his hat, and Great Seal, too -- to the intent, if he find the like fault with us hereafter, we may be the bolder from ourselves to lay the blame on those that his Grace bringeth hither with him." Whereunto the House wholly agreeing, he was received accordingly.

Where, after that he had in solemn oration by many reasons proved how necessary it was the demand there moved to be granted, and further showed that less would not serve to maintain the Prince's purpose, he, seeing the company sitting still silent, and thereunto nothing answering, and contrary to his expectation showing in themselves towards his request no towardness of inclination, said unto them: "Masters, you have many wise and learned men among you, and since I am from the King's own person sent hither unto you for the preservation of yourselves and the realm, I think it meet you give me some reasonable answer." Whereat, every man holding his peace, then began he to speak to one Master Marney (after Lord Marney): "How say you," quoth he, "Master Marney?" Who making no answer neither, he severally asked the same question of divers others accounted the wisest of the company.

To whom, when none of them all would give so much as one word, being before agreed, as the custom was, by their Speaker to make answer, "Masters," quoth the Cardinal, "unless it be the manner of your House, as of likelihood it is, by the mouth of your Speaker, whom you have chosen for trusty and wise, as indeed he is, in such cases to utter your minds, here is without doubt a marvelous obstinate silence."

And thereupon he required an answer of Master Speaker, who first reverently upon his knees excusing the silence of the House, abashed at the presence of so noble a personage, able to amaze the wisest and best learned in a realm, and after by many probable arguments proving that for them to make answer was it neither expedient nor agreeable with the ancient liberty of the House, in conclusion for himself showed that though they had all with their voices trusted him, yet except every one of them could put into his one head all their several wits, he alone in so weighty a matter was unmeet to make his Grace answer.

Whereupon the Cardinal, displeased with Sir Thomas More, that had not in this Parliament in all things satisfied his desire, suddenly arose and departed.

And after the Parliament ended, in his gallery at Whitehall in Westminster, uttered unto him his griefs, saying, "Would to God you had been at Rome, Master More, when I made you Speaker." "Your Grace not offended, so would I too, my Lord," quoth he. And to wind such quarrels out of the Cardinal's head, he began to talk of that gallery, and said, "I like this gallery of yours, my Lord, much better than your gallery at Hampton Court." Wherewith so wisely brake he off the Cardinal's displeasant talk that the Cardinal at that present, as it seemed, wist [knew] not what more to say to him. But for the revengement of his displeasure, counseled the King to send him ambassador into Spain, commending to His Highness his wisdom, learning, and meetness for that voyage; and the difficulty of the cause considered, none was there, he said, so well able to serve His Grace therein. Which, when the King had broken to Sir Thomas More, and that he had declared unto His Grace how unfit a journey it was for him, the nature of the country and disposition of his complexion so disagreeing together that he should never be likely to do His Grace acceptable service there, knowing right well that if His Grace sent him thither, he should send him to his grave, but showing himself nevertheless ready, according to his duty (all were it with the loss of his life), to fulfill His Grace's pleasure in that behalf, the King, allowing well his answer, said unto him, "It is not our meaning, Master More, to do you hurt, but to do you good would we be glad; we will this purpose devise upon some other, and employ your service otherwise."

And such entire favor did the King bear him that he made him Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster, upon the death of Sir Richard Wingfield, who had that office before.

 

Study Questions -- Rhetoric of Silence

 

1. Describe More's rhetorical strategy in this tense situation.

 

 

III. Rhetoric in More's Letters: Letter to Oxford, Letter to Erasmus

* For copyright reasons, the text of these letters could not be reprinted here. Reference to where they may be found and relevant study questions are given below.

 

More's Letter to Oxford University, 1518

In his new office as Royal Counselor, More writes to the directors of Oxford University about a serious danger there. At that time, Greek studies were new to England and one faction at Oxford denounced those engaged in Greek and caused great hostility on campus. This faction even formed a society called the “Trojans” set on eradicating the “Greeks.”

 

Text of letter: Selected Letters by Thomas More. Trans. Elizabeth F. Rogers. New Haven, Conn.: Yale University Press, 1947. Letter #19, pp. 94-103.

 

Study Questions -- Letter to Oxford

 

1. The first three paragraphs form the introduction or “exordium.” Why does More start in this unusual way? What effect or tone is More trying to create?

2. The next four paragraphs are the “narratio,” or statement of facts. For a supposed statement of facts, More uses many emotionally-charged words such as “despised,” “perverse,” “insanity,” “deranged,” “stupid,” “frivolous,” “degradation,” “outrageous,” “Bacchanalian ravings,” and “defamation.” Is this a continuation of the tone of the introduction or a contrast to it? Why would he use such words with this straight-laced, academic audience?

3. The next section is called the “argument” of the letter and goes all the way to, but excludes, the last paragraph. What is the tone of this section?

4. According to More, why should one study the liberal arts and especially what the Greeks wrote?

5. What is More trying to get the leaders of Oxford to do by the end of this argument section? What does he appeal to in his efforts to get them to do it?

6. The last paragraph is the conclusion. What is the main point he wants to emphasis before he signs off?

7. What is the tone of this ending? Why would he want to end with this tone?

 

More's Letter to Erasmus after Resigning as Lord Chancellor:

Text of letter: Selected Letters by Thomas More. Trans. Elizabeth F. Rogers. New Haven, Conn.: Yale University Press, 1947. Letter #46, pp. 179-183.

Study Questions -- Letter to Erasmus

 

1. Why is More so anxious that Erasmus publish his letter along with the epitaphs for his tomb?

 

 

IV. Rhetoric of Shakespeare and More

* The following scene is Shakespeare's representation of More calming the London riot of 1517. It can be used with the study questions that follow for a lesson in literature or rhetoric.

 

Shakespeare's Contributions to the Book of Sir Thomas More, Act 2, Scene 3

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sergeant: 

 

 

Lincoln: 

 

 

 

Sergeant: 

 

 

Lincoln: 

 

All: 

 

 

 

 

 

Sheriff: 

 

Surrey: 

 

Mayor: 

 

Shrewsbury: 

 

Sherwin: 

 

Betts: 

 

Lincoln: 

 

Betts: 

 

All: 

 

Lincoln: 

 

Surrey: 

 

Some: 

 

Others: 

 

More: 

 

 

Lincoln: 

 

Doll: 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

All: 

 

More: 

 

 

Some: 

 

Others: 

 

Lincoln and  

Betts: 

 

More: 

 

 

Lincoln: 

 

More: 

 

 

 

Doll: 

 

 

 

 

 

 

All: 

 

More: 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Betts: 

 

 

More: 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Doll: 

 

Betts: 

 

More: 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

All: 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

More: 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

All: 

 

Lincoln: 

 

 

More: 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Lincoln, the riot leader, has stirred up a crowd of Londoners by telling them that prices will go up and disease will spread if foreign merchants (“strangers”) are allowed to continue working in England. Here, the sergeant-at-arms orders the rioters to turn themselves in and submit to the King, but the rioters refuse.

 

On stage: John Lincoln (a broker), Doll, Betts, Sherwin (a goldsmith), and prentices armed; Thomas More (sheriff of the City of London), the other sheriff, Sir Thomas Palmer, Sir Roger Cholmeley, and a sergeant-at-arms stand aloof.

 

 

[coming forward] What say you to the mercy of the King?
Do you refuse it?

 

You would have us upon th’hip, would you?

No, marry, do we not. We accept of the King’s mercy;

but we will show no mercy upon the strangers.

 

You are the simplest things

That ever stood in such a question.

 

How say you now? Prentices ‘simple’? (To the prentices) Down with him!

 

Prentices simple! Prentices simple!

 

 

[Enter the Lord Mayor, the Earl of Surrey, and the Earl of Shrewsbury]

 

 

Hold in the King’s name! Hold!

 

Friends, masters, countrymen—

 

Peace ho, peace! I charge you, keep the peace!

 

My masters, countrymen—

 

The noble Earl of Shrewsbury, let’s hear him.

 

We’ll hear the Earl of Surrey.

 

The Earl of Shrewsbury.

 

We’ll hear both.

 

Both, both, both, both!

 

Peace, I say peace! Are you men of wisdom, or what are you?

 

What you will have them, but not men of wisdom.

 

We’ll not hear my Lord of Surrey.

 

No, no, no, no, no! Shrewsbury, Shrewsbury!

 

[to the nobles and officers] Whiles they are o’er the bank of their obedience,

Thus will they bear down all things.

 

[to the prentices] Sheriff More speaks. Shall we hear Sheriff More speak?

 

Let’s hear him. ’A keeps a plentiful shrievaltry, and ’a

made my brother Arthur Watchins Sergeant Safe’s yeoman. Let’s hear Sheriff More.

 

 

More convinces the crowd to give him a hearing, in part because of his reputation as one who gives food and jobs to the poor

 

 

Sheriff More, More, More, Sheriff More!

 

Even by the rule you have among yourselves,

Command still audience.

 

Surrey, Surrey!

 

More, More!

 

 

Peace, peace, silence, peace!

 

You that have voice and credit with the number,

Command them to a stillness.

 

A plague on them! They will not hold their peace. The devil cannot rule them.

 

Then what a rough and riotous charge have you,

To lead those that the devil cannot rule.

[to the prentices] Good masters, hear me speak.

 

Ay, by th’ mass, will we. More, thou’rt a good housekeeper, and I thank thy good worship for my brother Arthur Watchins.

 

 

More keeps the rioters’ attention by discussing the topic they are crying out for: peace. He ends his first speech with a question, a notable contrast to the way the previous leaders spoke to the mob.

 

 

Peace, peace!

 

Look, what you do offend you cry upon,

That is the peace. Not one of you here present

Had there such fellows lived when you were babes

That could have topped the peace as now you would,

topped—toppled, removed

The peace wherein you have till now grown up

Had been ta’en from you, and the bloody times

Could not have brought you to the state of men.

Alas, poor things, what is it you have got,

Although we grant you get the thing you seek?

 

Marry, the removing of the strangers, which cannot

choose but much advantage the poor handicrafts of the city.

 

Grant them removed, and grant that this your noise

Hath chid down all the majesty of England.

Imagine that you see the wretched strangers,

Their babies at their backs, with their poor luggage

Plodding to th’ ports and coasts for transportation,

And that you sit as kings in your desires,

Authority quite silenced by your brawl

And you in ruff of your opinions clothed:

What had you got? I’ll tell you. You had taught

How insolence and strong hand should prevail,

How order should be quelled—and by this pattern

Not one of you should live an aged man,

For other ruffians as their fancies wrought,

With selfsame hand, self reasons, and self right,

Would shark on you, and men like ravenous fishes

Would feed on one another.

 

Before God, that’s as true as the gospel.

 

Nay, this’ a sound fellow, I tell you. Let’s mark him.

 

Let me set up before your thoughts, good friends,

One supposition, which if you will mark

You shall perceive how horrible a shape

Your innovation bears. First, ‘tis a sin

Which oft th’apostle did forewarn us of,

Urging obedience to authority;

And ‘twere no error if I told you all

You were in arms ‘gainst God.

 

Marry, God forbid that!

 

 

In this speech, More provides three logical arguments against the rioters’ actions and, by the time he is finished, the mob has been persuaded to stop their rioting. Note these three arguments, and the order in which More makes them.

 

 

Nay, certainly you are.

For to the King God hath his office lent

Of dread, of justice, power and command,

Hath bid him rule and willed you to obey;

And to add ampler majesty to this,

He hath not only lent the King his figure,

His throne and sword, but given him his own name,

Calls him a god on earth. What do you then,

Rising ‘gainst him that God himself installs,

But rise ‘gainst God? What do you to your souls

In doing this? O desperate as you are,

Wash your foul minds with tears, and those same hands

That you like rebels lift against the peace

Lift up for peace; and your unreverent knees,

Make them your feet. To kneel to be forgiven

Is safer wars than ever you can make,

Whose discipline is riot.

In, in, to your obedience! Why, even your hurly

Cannot proceed but by obedience.

What rebel captain,

As mut’nies are incident, by his name

Can still the rout? Who will obey a traitor?

Or how can well that proclamation sound,

When there is no addition but ‘a rebel’

To qualify a rebel? You’ll put down strangers,

Kill them, cut their throats, possess their houses,

And lead the majesty of law in lyam

To slip him like a hound—alas, alas!

Say now the King,

As he is clement if th’offender mourn,

Should so much come too short of your great trespass

As but to banish you: whither would you go?

What country, by the nature of your error,

Should give you harbour? Go you to France or Flanders,

To any German province, Spain or Portugal,

Nay, anywhere that not adheres to England—

Why, you must needs be strangers. Would you be pleased

To find a nation of such barbarous temper

That breaking out in hideous violence

Would not afford you an abode on earth,

Whet their detested knives against your throats,

Spurn you like dogs, and like as if that God

Owed not nor made not you, nor that the elements

Were not all appropriate to your comforts,

But chartered unto them, what would you think

To be thus used? This is the strangers’ case,

And this your mountainish inhumanity.

 

Faith, ’a says true. Let’s do as we may be done by.

 

We’ll be ruled by you, Master More,

if you’ll stand our friend to procure our pardon.

 

Submit you to these noble gentlemen,

Entreat their mediation to the King,

Give up yourself to form, obey the magistrate,

And there’s no doubt but mercy may be found,

If you so seek it.

 

 

Glossary


upon th’hip — at a disadvantage
simplest — foolish
shrievaltry — generous table
what is it you have got -- what have you gained
in ruff of — in height of pride
hurly — commotion, uproar
lyam — a leash for hounds
to slip him — to leash him
chartered unto — reserved to

 

 

More's Soliloguy

 

 

 

 

More: 

Soliloquy written by Shakespeare, representing More's thoughts right after becoming Chancellor of England

 

 

It is in heaven that I am [made] thus and thus,

And that which we profanely term our fortunes

Is the provision of the power above,

Fitted and shaped just to that strength of nature

Which we are born [with]. Good God, good God,

That I from such an humble bench of birth

Should step as ‘twere up to my country’s head

And give the law out there; I, in my father’s life

To take prerogative and tithe of knees

From elder kinsmen, and him bind by my place

To give the smooth and dexter way to me

That owe it him by nature! Sure these things,

Not physicked by respect, might turn our blood

To much corruption. But More, the more thou hast

Either of honour, office, wealth and calling,

Which might accite thee to embrace and hug them,

The more do thou in serpents’ natures think them:

Fear their gay skins, with thought of their sharp state,

And let this be thy maxim: to be great

Is, when the thread of hazard is once spun,

A bottom great wound up, greatly undone.

 

 

Glossary

 

tithe — tribute. In those times, just as it was the custom to kneel before one's father and ask for a blessing, it was also the custom in a similar way to pay "tithe of knee" to a high official of one's fatherland. As Lord Chancellor of England and highest officer of the country, Sir Thomas would normally receive such a sign of reverence from his own father (a judge of the King's Bench). Instead, as Roper tells us in his Life of Sir Thomas More, "Whensoever [Lord Chancellor More] passed through Westminster Hall to his place in the Chancery by the court of the King's Bench, if his father, one of the Judges thereof, had been seated before he came, he would go into the same court, and there reverently kneeling down in the sight of them all, duly asked his father's blessing.

dexter — right hand, a position of honor

physicked by respect — tempered by reflection

accite — excite

state — i.e. stings

bottom — a ball of wound thread

 

Study Questions

 

1. Where does More use ethos, pathos, and logos in his rhetoric?

2. Why will the rioters listen to More and not to the other officials of London?

3. How does More engage the rioters’ attention?

4. What images does More use that lead Doll to say, “That’s as true as the gospel”?

5. What is it that “God forbid”?

6. What is More’s argument in the next section which the crowd agrees to follow, if More will “stand our friend” to intercede for them?

7. The last speech is the soliloquy that More gives right after finding out that he is the new Lord Chancellor of England. What is the main idea that Shakespeare presents here?

 

 

V. Rhetoric in More's Richard III

* The following study guide should be used in conjunction with the PDF text of More's Richard III.

 

Rhetorical Figures in the History of King Richard III

Erasmus describes the style of Sir Thomas More as tending more “to Isocratic rhythm and logical subtlety than to the outpouring river of Ciceronian eloquence,” and Erasmus goes on to point out that one can “recognize a poet even in [More’s] prose for in his youth he spent much time writing poetry.” To understand why Erasmus thought More’s prose style like poetry and full of pleasing rhythm and logical subtlety, a careful reader will want to pay attention to the figures More uses. Recognizing the figures and reflecting upon their use not only reveals where More employs powerful rhetoric, but also demonstrates the sometimes questionable purposes for which his characters use it.

Here the figures are divided according to their major appeals to ethos, pathos, and logos.

 

Major Figures Related to Ethos

Anamnesis: “Calling to memory past matters.” “Anamnesis helps to establish ethos, since it conveys the idea that the speaker is knowledgeable of the received wisdom from the past.”

1. Shaa and Buckingham both quote scripture in their speeches (pp. 58, 66).

2. In the Latin version of this history, More uses key terms from Roman history, alluding to their institutions of self-government in a revealing manner (e.g., pp. 69, 71).

 

Litotes: “The moderator.” “Deliberate understatement, especially when expressing a thought by denying its opposite.” Cicero in Ad Herennium presents “litotes as a means of expressing modesty (downplaying one's accomplishments) in order to gain the audience's favor (establishing ethos).” Most commonly, this “figure may be used to dispraise another with less offense or to speak well of oneself with greater modesty” or to indicate disagreement without giving great offense. At times, all three uses may be instances of ironic expression.

To Dispraise Another with Less Offense:

1. “good men might, as I think, without sin somewhat less regard it than they do” (24.16-18).

2. “as though no man mistrusted the matter, which of truth no man believed” (46.12-13).

To Praise Another with Greater Modesty:

1. “taunting without displeasure, and not without play” (49.15-16).

2. “and thanks be to God they got not good, nor you none harm thereby” (45.7-8).

To Disagree with Less Offense:

1. “Yet will I not say nay” (25.2).

2. “No man denies” (29.30).

3. “And then said he to the Queen he nothing doubted but that those lords of her honorable kin . . . should, upon the matter examined, do well enough” (31.1-4).

 

Martyria: Confirms a question by one’s own experience. Joseph writes that this figure acts like proof in that it provides testimony, or the “character of witnesses,” which carries the “force of argument.” More uses this figure in the voice of his narrator in order to lend credibility to his history.

1. “However, this I have by credible information learned . . .” (6.14-15).

2. “But in the meantime, for this present matter, I shall rehearse you the sorrowful end of those babes, not after every way that I have heard, but after that way I have heard by such men, and by such means, as I think it were hard but it should be true” (75.8-11).

 

Major Figures Related to Pathos

Apostrophe: “Turning away from; the turn tale.” “Turning one's speech from one audience to another. Most often, apostrophe occurs when one addresses oneself to an abstraction, to an inanimate object, or to the absent, usually with emotion.”

1. “O good God, the blindness of our mortal nature” (45.19).

 

Bathos: “an unintended and excessive sinking from the lofty into the absurd or ridiculous just at the climactic point where true pathos and grandiloquence are called for.”

1. “But the people were so far from crying ‘King Richard’ that they stood as they had been turned to stone,
for wonder of this shameful sermon. After which once ended, the preacher got himself home and never after dared look out for shame” (60.22-25).

2. “When the Duke has spoken, expecting that the people (whom he hoped that the Mayor had framed before) should after this proposition have cried, ‘King Richard! King Richard!’—all was hushed and mute, and not one answered thereunto. Wherewith the Duke was marvelously abashed” (67.9-13).

 

Climax: “Mounting by degrees through linked words or phrases, usually of increasing weight and in parallel construction.” As in the examples below, climax can be used to heighten emotion.

1. “For men use, if they have an evil turn, to write it in marble; and whosoever does us a good turn, we
write it in dust, which is not worst proved by her, for at this day she begs of many at this day living, that at this day had begged if she had not been” (50.15-19).

2. “For Richard, the Duke of Gloucester, by nature their uncle, by office their protector, to their father beholden, to themselves by oath and allegiance bound, all the bands broken that bind man and man together, without any respect of God or the world, unnaturally contrived to bereave them, not only of their dignity, but also their lives” (3.26-30).

 

Enargia: “Generic term for a group of figures aiming at vivid, lively description.”

1. “[H]e returned into the chamber among them, all changed with a wonderful sour, angry countenance, knitting the brows, frowning and frothing and gnawing on his lips…” (40.27-29).

2. “For upon this page’s words King Richard arose (for this communication had he sitting on the stool, and appropriate court for such council) and came into the bedchambers” (76.18-20).

3. “After which time the Prince never tied his laces, nor took care of himself, but with that young babe, his brother, lingered in thought and heaviness . . .” (77.9-11).

4. “King Richard himself, as you shall hereafter hear, slain in the field, hacked and hewed of his enemies hands, dragged on horseback dead, his hair spitefully torn and tugged like a cur dog” (78.29-79.1).

Other types of enargia:

Effictio: “portrayal,” which consists “in representing and depicting in words clearly enough for recognition of the bodily form of some person . . . This figure is not only serviceable, if you should wish to designate some person, but also graceful.”

1. “Richard, the third son, of whom we now treat, was in wit and courage equal with either of them [his brothers], in body and prowess far under them both: little of stature, ill featured of limbs, crooked-backed, his left shoulder much higher than his right, hard-favored in appearance, and such as in the case of lords called warlike, in other men called otherwise” (5.1-6).

Notatio: “character delineation,” which lies in “describing a person’s character by the definite signs which, like distinctive marks, are attributes of that character . . .”; in so doing, notatio describes “the qualities proper to each man’s character.” More often uses this figure in conjunction with praising or blaming the person being described.

To praise:

1. “Yet she [Jane Shore] delighted not men so much in her beauty as in her pleasant behavior. For a proper wit had she, and could both read well and write, merry in company, ready and quick of answer, neither mute nor full of babble, sometimes taunting without displeasure, and not without play” (49.12-16).

2. He [Edward IV] was a goodly personage, and very princely to behold: of heart, courageous; politic in counsel; in adversity nothing abashed; in prosperity, rather joyful than proud; in peace, just and merciful; in war, sharp and fierce; in the field, bold and hardy, and nevertheless, no further than wisdom would, adventurous” (2.9-13).

To blame:

1. “Thus ended this honorable man [Hastings], a good knight and a gentle one, of great authority with his prince, of living somewhat dissolute, plain and open to his enemy, and secret to his friend, easy to beguile, as he that of good heart and courage forestudied no perils; a loving man and passing well beloved; very faithful and trusty enough, trusting too much” (45.21-26).

 

Protrope: “A call to action, often by using threats or promises.”

1. “Dear friends we come to move you to that thing which perchance we not so greatly needed, but that the lords of this realm and the commons of other parts might have sufficed, except that we such love bear you and so much set by you that we would not gladly do without you that thing in which to be partners is your well-being and honor, which, as it seems, either you see not or weigh not” (68.13-19).

 

Major Figures Related to Logos

Antithesis: “Juxtaposition of contrasting words or ideas (often, although not always, in parallel structure).” Aristotle thought that the effect of antithesis could be heightened by parallel clauses. He writes: “Such a form of speech is satisfying, because the significance of contrasted ideas is easily felt, especially when they are thus put side by side, and also because it has the effect of a logical argument; it is by putting two opposing conclusions side by side that you prove one of them false” (1410a19ff).

1. “[H]e got for himself unsteadfast friendship…and …steadfast hatred” (5.18-20).

2. “For it suffices not that all you lovethem, if each of you hatesthe other” (8.13-14).

3. “[H]er great shame won her much praise among those that were more amorous of her body than curious of her soul” (48.11-13).

4. “outwardly friendly where he inwardly hated, not omitting to kiss whom he thought to kill” (5.21-23) [plus alliteration]

5. “[S]he rather kindled his desire than quenched it (54.1-2) [plus alliteration].

Antithesis heightened by rhyme:

1. “[F]rom that time forward was there never so undevout a king who dared that sacred place to violate,or so holy a bishop that dared presume to consecrate” (23.7-9).

2. “[S]he not very fervently loved for whom she never longed” (48.21-22) [plus alliteration].

 

Aporia: “the doubtful;” “Deliberating with oneself as though in doubt over some matter; asking oneself (or rhetorically asking one's hearers) what is the best or appropriate way to approach something.” More often uses aporia as a form of irony.

1. “whether [the clergy] said it for his pleasure or as they thought” (27.11-12)

2. “[Y]et was [King Edward] in many things ruled by the Queen’s faction more than stood either with his honor or our profit, or to the advantage of any man else, except only the immoderate advancement of the Queen’s family, which group either sorer thirsted after their own well being, or our woe, it were hard I suppose to guess” (11.27-12.1).

3. “This is my mind in this matter for this time, except any of your lordships anything perceive to the contrary. For never shall I by God’s grace so wed myself to mine own will, but that I shall be ready to change it upon your better advice” (22.15-19).

 

Dialysis: “the dismemberer.” “To spell out alternatives, or to present either-or arguments that lead to a conclusion.”

1. “were it for the respect of his honor, or that she should by presence of so many perceived that this errand was not one man’s mind, or were it for that the Protector intended not in this matter to trust any one man alone, or else, if she were determined to keep him,…-- immediately, despite her mind, to take him (28.11-17)

2. “either because she was content with the deed itself well done, or because she delighted to be sued unto and to show what she was able to do with the King, or because wanton and wealthy women be not always covetous” (50.1-4)

3. “Tell him it is plain witchcraft to believe in such dreams, which, if they were tokens of things to come, why thinks he not that we might be as likely to make them true by our going if we were caught and brought back (as friends fail those who flee), for then had the boar a cause likely to slash us with his tusks, as folk that fled for some falsehood; wherefore, either is there no peril, nor none there is indeed; or if any be, it is rather in going than abiding. And if we much fall in peril one way or other, yet had I rather that men should see it were by other men’s falsehood than think it were either our own fault or faint heart” (43.19-28).

4. “Now then, if she refuse in the deliverance of him, to follow the counsel of them whose wisdom she knows, whose truth she well trusts, it is easy to perceive that perversity hinders her, and not fear. But go to, suppose that she fear (as who may let here to fear her own shadow), the more she fears to deliver him, the more ought we fear to leave him in her hands. For if she casts such found doubts that she fear his hurt, then she will fear that he shall be fetched thence. For she will soon think that if men were set (which God forbid) upon so great a mischief, the sanctuary would little impede them, for good men might, as I think, without sin somewhat less regard it than they do.” (24.8-18)

 

Irony: a “dry mock.” “Speaking in such a way as to imply the contrary of what one says, often for the purpose of derision, mockery, or jest.” More was particularly well known for a form of irony that Thomas Wilson classifies as “praising the unworthy.”

Praising the unworthy:

1. “But he [Richard] allowed not, as I have heard, the burying in so vile a corner [of the princes he ordered killed], say that he would have them buried in a better place because they were a king’s sons. Lo, the honorable nature of a king!” (78.3-6).

2. And for this cause, (as a goodly continent prince, clean and faultless of himself, sent out of heaven into this vicious world for the amendment of men’s manners), [Richard] caused the Bishop of London to put [Jane Shore] to open penance” (48.2-5).

3. “The other two [concubines of Edward] were somewhat greater personages, and, despite their humility, remained content to be nameless and to forego the praise of their qualities” (49.21-23).

4. “[T]hat every man much marveled that heard him, and thought that they never had in their lives heard so evil a tale so well told” (67.21-23). [plus antithesis]

Other forms of irony:

1. Richard’s statement to the Council: “For never shall I by God’s grace so wed myself to mine own will,
but that I shall be ready to change it upon your better advice” (22.17-19).

2. Richard’s habitually being called “Protector” (See esp. pp. 36, 37, 40, 51).

3. Richard’s insistence that “it was the chiefest duty of a king to minister the laws” (p. 73.24-26) after repeatedly manipulating the laws and focusing his attention to “win … specially the lawyers” to his side (73.27-29; 39.10ff)

 

Metaphor: Asserting identity between two things that are unlike. Aristotle writes that the key to good use of metaphor is that the objects identified correspond well to the things signified. He writes: “It is like having to ask ourselves what dress will suit an old man; certainly not the crimson cloak that suits a young man.” Aristotle thought that we are fond of metaphors because “we all naturally find it agreeable to get hold of new ideas easily,” and it is from metaphors especially “that we can best get hold of something fresh.” Metaphors, then, teach us quickly and with pleasure.

1. “a pestilent serpent is ambition” (9.16).

2. Referring to the prince and Richard the Protector: “the lamb was given to the wolf” (20.16-17)

3. “And so they said that these matters be kings’ games, as it were, stage plays, and for the most part played upon scaffolds” (73.15-17).

 

Oxymoron: “Placing two ordinarily opposing terms adjacent to one another. A compressed paradox” – as in Milton’s “darkness visible.”

1. “holiest harlot” (49.19)

 

Parable: Teaching a moral by means of telling a story.

1. Morton tells of a lion that proclaimed no “horned beast” should abide in the wood; afterwards, the boar flees, believing the order applies to him. A fox rebukes the boar: “Thou may abide well enough; the lion meant not thee, for it is no horn that is on your head.” The boar replies: “No, marry . . . That know I well enough. But what if he call it a horn? Where am I then?” (See 84.2-12). Morton’s moral, of course, is that the king possesses dangerous power.

 

Paradox: “A statement that is self-contradictory on the surface, yet seems to evoke a truth nonetheless.”

1. “taking counsel of his desire” (54.12)

 

Praecisio: Wilson calls this “a stop, or half telling of a tale”; he then explains: “A stop is when we break off our tale before we have told it.” More depicts Cardinal Morton using this figure to heighten Buckingham’s curiosity. This is one of the “figures of silence.”

1. “ ‘And as for the late Protector and now King. . . .’ And even there he left off, saying that he had already meddled too much with the world. . . . Then longed the Duke sore to hear what he would have sad because he ended with the King and there so suddenly stopped” (83.14-20).

 

Pun: To play upon various meanings of the same word. Joseph describes a pun as a figure of ambiguity—deliberately used by the speaker or poet—that demonstrates wit and art. She writes that puns “depend for their effect on the intellectual alertness necessary to perceive the ambiguity.” When More plays with the different senses of a word’s meaning, he does not think of it as merely word play, but as wit used for a particular rhetorical effect. The following four figures illustrate different kinds of puns in More’s Richard III.

Antanaclasis: Repetition of a word in a different sense.

1. “Here is a gay goodly cast, foul cast away for haste” (47.19-20).

2. “[T]here is none of her kin the less loved for that they be her kin, but for their own evil deserving. And nevertheless, if we loved neither her nor her kin, yet were there no cause to think that we should hate the King’s noble brother, to whose Grace we ourself be of kin” (23.25-29).

3. “Great variance has there long been between you, not always for great causes” (8.29-30).

4. “[B]ut under an easy name of ‘benevolence and good will’ the commissioners so much of every man took, as no man would with his good will have given—as though the name of ‘benevolence’ had signified that every man should pay, not what he himself of his good will pleases to grant, but what the King of his good will please to take (62.1-6).

5. “Keep one safe and both be sure, and nothing for them both more perilous than to be both in one place” (35.17-18).

Onomatopoeia: “Using or inventing a word whose sound imitates that which it names.”

1. “the sound of a swarm of bees” (68.23-24)

Polyptoton: “Repetition of a word derived from the same root.” Often More combines this figure with antanaclasis to repeat words in both different forms and senses.

1. “[S]he would never have showed such kindness to him, to let him so kindly get her with child” (57.8-9).

2. “that no one thing in many days before got him either more hearts or more hearty favor”(3.13-14)

3. “were he faulty or were he faultless” (4.27-28)

4. “very faithful and trusty enough, trusting too much” (45.26)

5. “[A]s they were great states of birth, so were they great and stately of stomach” (4.16-17).

Syllepsis: When a single word that governs or modifies two or more others must be understood differently with respect to each of those words. Syllepsis occurs in a combination of grammatical parallelism and semantic incongruity, often with a witty or comical effect.

1. “Doctor Shaa by his sermon lost his honesty and soon after his life” (52.4).

 

Simile: Asserting a likeness between two unlike things.

1. “[Y]et much part of the common people were therewith very well satisfied, and said it were like giving alms to hang them” (20.3-4).

2. “as though God and Saint Peter were the patrons of ungracious living” (25.26-27)

3. “but all was as still as midnight” (67.25-26).

 

Major Figures of Repetition

“Repetition is a major rhetorical strategy for producing emphasis, clarity, amplification, or emotional effect.” (Notice that repetition can be used to support logos or pathos.)

 

Alliteration: Repetition of an initial consonant sound. Puttenham calls this “the figure of like letter,” which may “notably affect the ear.”

1. “if division and dissension of their friends had not unarmed them and left them destitute, and the execrable desire of sovereignty provoked to their destruction, who, if either kind or kindness had held place, must needs have been their chief defense” (3.22-26).

2. “falsehood of their feigned friends” (58.5-6)

3. “you have long time lacked and sore longed for” (61.15-16) [Note the pun on “long.”]

 

Anaphora: Where the same word begins a series of clauses or verses. Puttenham writes of anaphora that it occurs “when we make one word begin, and as they are wont to say, lead the dance to many verses in suite.”

1. “[T]here they build, there they spend and bid their creditors go whistle them” (25.29-30).

 

Antimetabole: Repetition of words in reverse grammatical order and successive clauses. So John F. Kennedy said: “Ask not what your country can do for you, but what you can do for your country.” See also Antithesis and Parallelism.

1. “Faithful you be that know I well, and I know well you be wise” (35.22-23).

2. “[S]he begs of many at this day living, that at this day had begged if she had not been” (50.18-19)

3. “[B]e it as well as it will, it will never be so well as we have seen it” (17.13-14).

 

Antistrophe: “Repetition of a closing word or words at the end of several (usually successive) clauses, sentences, or verses.”

1. “By which, the less while I expect to live with you, the more deeply am I moved to care in what case I leave you, for such as I leave you, such be my children like to find you” (8.7-9).

 

Assonance: Repetition of vowel-sound similarity.

1. “The brother has been the brother’s bane” (35.14).

2. “that butcherly office to some other than his own born brother” (5.30-31).

 

Parallelism: Corbett and Connors define parallelism as the “similarity of structure in a pair of series or related words, phrases, or clauses.” More uses it in conjunction with other figures often. See Antithesis, which is a form of parallelism.

1. “[W]here the King took displeasure, she [Jane Shore] would mitigate and appease his mind; where men were out of favor, she would bring them in his grace; for many who had highly offended, she obtained pardon; of great forfeitures she got men remission” (49.27-30)

2. “I neither am so unwise to mistrust your wits, nor so suspicious to mistrust your truths” (35.4-5).

3. “I beseech you for the trust that his father put in you ever, and for trust that I put in you now, that as far as you think that I fear too much, be you well aware that to fear not as far too little” (35.26-28).

4. “And yet therein she said was more honesty than honor in this marriage, forasmuch as there is between no merchant and his own maid so great difference, as between the King and this widow” (54.30-55.2)

 

General Rhetorical Terms

Parts of Rhetoric: More would have been familiar with the five parts of rhetoric that are discoveries of Roman oratory, and, in particular, with the work of Cicero and Quintilian.

A) Invention is the finding of arguments.

B) Arrangement is the order of a speech’s parts.

C) Style in the Renaissance often concerned the figures that the orator might employ, but more generally it should be considered by three classifications—low, middle, and high. More might have known from his study of Cicero or Augustine that the low style was for teaching, the middle for delighting, and the high for moving an audience.

D) Memory refers to the various devices orators used to remember their speeches.

E) Delivery encompassed such things as the speaker’s gesticulations, use of voice, and even when to show passions such as anger when speaking.

 

Arrangement: The second of the five parts of rhetoric, that having to do with ordering the whole discourse. The arrangement of the discourse typically follows Cicero’s paradigm:

A) exordium (catches the audiences’ attention);

B) narration (sets forth the facts of the case);

C) division (sets forth points agreed upon by both sides and points to be contested);

D) confirmation (sets forth the arguments that support one’s case);

E) refutation (refutes opponents arguments);

F) peroration (sums up and stirs audience).

1. Buckingham’s speech at the Guildhall serves as an abridged example:

(i) exordium (61.11-19);

(ii) narration (61.20-65.1);

(iii) division (65.2-15);

(iv) proof (65.16-66.24);

(v) peroration (66.25-67.8).

Of note, Buckingham fails to include “refutation.” In other words, he never presents arguments against Richard, not even to rebut them later.