Oratory in Action

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Michael Edwards, Christopher Reid
Manchester University Press, Jan 1, 2004 - Literary Criticism - 216 pages
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This book examines the power and possibilities of public speaking, ranging from the oratory of the Athenian law courts to the political oratory of New Labour. A distinctive feature of the book is its conception of the orator as a performer and practitioner, and of oratory itself as a form of action. Historically, the power of eloquence to rouse and influence an audience made the orator a controversial figure whose rhetorical skills provoked suspicion and awe in almost equal measure. These essays show how orators exploit those skills in their attempts to shape the external world of opinion and fact. They also show how the speech itself may be considered as a linguistic event or "way of happening" which seeks to bind the orator and the audience in prized moments of connection.

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About the author (2004)

Michael Edwards is Reader in Classics at Queen Mary, University of London. Christopher Reid is Senior Lecturer in English at Queen Mary, University of London.

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