The Bad Orator: Between Clumsy Delivery and Political Danger

Jakob Wisse

in Community and Communication

Published in print January 2013 | ISBN: 9780199641895
Published online January 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780191746130 | DOI:
The Bad Orator: Between Clumsy Delivery and Political Danger

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Our understanding of the role that oratory played in Roman society and politics and the criteria applied to measure an orator’s performance and career, is partly based on ‘positive’ material: contemporary opinions on good oratory, positive instructions in the rhetorical handbooks, portrayals of the ideal orator. This chapter demonstrates what a systematic examination of such negative views reveals about Roman oratorical practice and attitudes to oratory. The ‘bad orator’ emerges as a figure who can be criticised on both technical and moral grounds.

Keywords: oratory; rhetorical handbooks; ideal orator; bad orator; technical failure; moral failure

Chapter.  17078 words. 

Subjects: Classical History

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