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Rhetorical Device


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Rhetorical Device


Rhetorical devices (also known as stylistic devices, persuasive devices, or simply rhetoric) are techniques or language used to convey a point or convince an audience. And they're used by everyone: politicians, businesspeople, even your favorite novelists.


Adnomination is the use of words with the same root in the same sentence. Like many other rhetorical devices, this is a linguistic trick to make statements sound more persuasive. It's sure to somehow work on someone, somewhere, someday.


A rhetorical device is a technique that has its origin in rhetoric, the classical art of discourse that was pioneered by the Ancient Greeks. Rhetoric is defined as the art of persuasive speaking or writing using figurative language and other innovative literary techniques. Thus, the principal purpose of such rhetorical devices is to employ diction and articulate effectively to convey the message and present a convincing argument to your audience. This element of persuasion is the essence of rhetoric, and rhetorical devices help one to enhance the cogency quotient of an argument.


Rhetorical devices are used to trigger emotional responses in an audience and persuade the readers or the listeners. The scope of rhetorical devices is broad. Even though the primary purpose is persuading your audience, these devices are also used as aesthetic devices in writing. Rhetorical devices operate at many levels, viz. words, paragraphs, sentences, etc. Each of these devices has its own unique effect.


Thus, the very purpose of rhetorical devices is to facilitate effective communication. Since time immemorial, human beings are trying to persuade each other and make their point. So, we have been developing effective communication skills for a long time. Rhetorical devices are the techniques that help us formulate a compelling argument and influence the opinion of our audience. In a complex socio-economic structure, good communication is key to achieving better results in every sphere of our lives. Rhetorical devices enable us to exchange information, argue, and convince each other constructively and functionally.


Rhetorical devices have been used by people since the days of yore. Rhetoric is especially useful in politics. Ministers avail of these innovative devices to create an impression upon their audience and persuade them to toe the line. These high and mighty speeches are intended to sway the sentiments in their favor. Rhetoric is crucial in changing perceptions, winning votes, and achieving political goals.


Rhetorical devices elevate songs to another level. These devices help an audience understand the mood of a song. The song could be funny, sad, happy, romantic, sombre, and rhetorical devices work in tandem with the music to magnify the emotional import of a song.


In the third and fourth lines, he uses another rhetorical device known as imagery. Imagery appeals to your five senses (taste, touch, sight, smell, and sound) and uses descriptive language to create a visual representation of the world that the writer wants to portray. It boosts your imagination that helps you to form images in your mind. Thus in the last two lines of the abovementioned excerpt, imagery helps us to imagine and feel how spring would like in Jupiter and Mars.


Similarly, rhetorical devices are used in movies to augment its aesthetic quality while keeping the dialogues economical at the same. Several films have quirky or odd characters who employ such persuasive devices regularly. Such devices, along with figures of speech, enhance the standard of film screenplays and make the characters more interesting. The Star Wars franchise has several remarkable characters who use rhetorical devices in their dialogues. Yoda, the little, green humanoid alien, is noted for his use of a particular rhetorical device called anastrophe.


Rhetorical devices in poetry have been used to embellish the text and enhance its aesthetic quality. These techniques enliven a poem, set its mood and rhythm, and enraptures the reader. Poets regularly employ numerous rhetorical devices in their pieces.


Rhetorical devices are techniques authors and speakers use to convey their point of view and make their arguments more cogent. Eliciting an emotional response in the audience requires the use of many rhetorical tools and strategies. Rhetorical devices entail rhetorical questions, figurative language, and literal truth to achieve their purpose. Thus, any manipulation of language that creates an impression and has an effect on its audience can be said to have employed rhetorical devices. Since the scope is big, some rhetorical devices overlap with figures of speech, thus employing the use of figurative language to persuade the audience.


Rhetorical devices that use figurative language are potent persuasive devices that include metaphor, hyperbole, personification, etc. But rhetorical devices also entail techniques that are not to be interpreted figuratively.


Repetition is one example that does not avail of figurative language. It can include non-literal language, but it is not a metaphorical language itself. Repetition adds emphasis by restating or reiterating the same word or phrase. Similarly, rhetorical devices like anaphora use repetition of a specific word or phrase at the start of a sentence or a clause. On the same logic, sound devices like alliteration (repetition of consonant sounds), assonance (repetition of vowel sounds), rhyme (repetition of similar sounds), etc. are rhetorical devices that do not use figurative language.


These particular devices add an extra quality to the literal meaning of the text. But many are of the opinion that a sound device like alliteration uses figurative language even though there is no figure of speech involved anywhere.


The term rhetorical device is often confused with a literary device. The reason being many of the devices, belonging to the two techniques, overlap each other. Although they look similar in nature, the scope of rhetorical devices is much broader, and the difference between the two is very subtle. Literary devices are intrinsically artistic; their usage being primarily focused on enhancing the aesthetic quality of your writing through the innovative expression of ideas. The eponymous aspect of this form of poetic device is reflected in the fact that they can only be found in the literature.


Rhetorical devices are used both in speech and writing. Unlike literary devices, these are used to provoke or put forth a compelling argument, achieving its purpose by stimulating emotional responses in the readers or listeners.


This rhetorical device is based on the fact that numerous words in English have multiple meanings. So, antanaclasis happens when the same word or phrase is used more than once in a sentence, and each time it appears, the word or phrase carries different meanings. Thus, the same word, which is repeated in a sentence, has different meanings. Antanaclasis can pave the way for catchy slogans or catchphrases.


By using the same word or phrase, antanaclasis successfully draws the attention of the listener or the reader, compelling him to pay heed to your piece. The contrast enhances the drama and, at times, this effective rhetorical device provides comic relief in the form of a pun.


Cacophony refers to the combination of words that sound harsh and discordant. The jarring sounds are mostly used to describe unpleasant scenarios. Several writers have made use of this potent rhetorical device to portray distressing or appalling circumstances.


This figure of speech is used to replace or substitute a word or phrase that is deemed to be off-putting, rude, or distasteful in common parlance. Euphemisms are indirect, less offensive, and more polite expressions in nature. Thus, this rhetorical device is a great means of softening the impact of something unpleasant or upsetting that needs to be communicated.


Irony is one of the familiar rhetorical techniques that is used in both tragedy and humor to create an effect where the apparent meaning is different from the underlying meaning. It employs contradictory statements that reveal a contrast between how things appear on the surface and how things are in reality. There are several types of irony like situational irony, verbal irony, the irony of fate, dramatic irony, etc.


Onomatopoeia appeals to the sense of hearing. The use of this brilliant rhetorical device emphasizes and dramatizes situations in your piece that would otherwise not carry the same emotional import. These sounds acting as words help the audience seamlessly transport to the realm that the author has described in his work.


Personification lends human traits to abstract concepts and things. By providing human characteristics like emotions to non-human entities, this rhetorical device breathes life into such objects and abstract ideas, allowing the readers to make a more intimate connection with them. Personification has been widely used in literature and art since classical antiquity.


Personification is a brilliant device that allows us to make ordinary objects and abstract concepts far more interesting in our piece. Writers provide the lifeless objects with a soul, a spirit, and give them the flesh and sinew of a human. It makes the text more appealing. It adds personality to the write-up that enhances the expressive quotient of the text. The readers can view the world through the eyes of a poet/writer, and personification is the best rhetorical device that enables such an intimate connection.


Synecdoche is a rhetorical device where a part of something represents the whole of something or vice versa. The object or name must be attached to the larger whole in some way or the other to qualify as a synecdoche. Just a mere association or close relation with the larger whole will qualify it as metonymy and not synecdoche.


Synecdoche is a stylish rhetorical device that helps poets and writers replace commonly used terms and expressions in their pieces. It engages the audience as it compels them to think and determine what the author is alluding to in his text. Thus, the readers are forced to deliberate on the words, which, in turn, increases their thinking capacity and improves their imagination. 59ce067264






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