ENG 3U: Introduction to Rhetorical Devices

Today, we will examine rhetorical devices in some detail. Please add the following to your notes:

  • Rhetorical Question: a question that the speaker does not expect to have answered by the listener, perhaps because the answer is obvious
  • Anaphora: beginning a series of sentences with the same sounds/structures
  • Enumeratio: a list used to emphasize a point
  • Distinctio: redefining something in a way that shapes the argument
  • Hyperbole: an exaggeration intended to emphasize an idea
  • Allusion: a reference or comparison to a specific person, place, or thing (often Biblical)
  • Metaphor: a comparison in which one thing is said to be another. (He was a rock, unmoving and immutable).
  • Simile: a comparison in which one thing is said to be like another. (He was like a rock)

Next, we will look at a few examples to help you understand how great orators use these devices.

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