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Greek Drama and the Invention of Rhetoric

David Sansone

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ISBN 10: 1118357086 / ISBN 13: 9781118357088
Published by Wiley-Blackwell, 2012
New Condition: New Hardcover
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Bibliographic Details

Title: Greek Drama and the Invention of Rhetoric

Publisher: Wiley-Blackwell

Publication Date: 2012

Binding: Hardcover

Book Condition: New

Edition: 1.

About this title


  • Asserts a novel and controversial theory on the origins of rhetoric that differs radically from the standard view
  • Argues that it was the theatre of Ancient Greece, first appearing around 500 BC, that prompted
  • the development of formalized rhetoric, which evolved soon thereafter
  • Provides a cogent reworking of existing evidence
  • Reveals the bias and inconsistency of Aristotle

From the Back Cover:

This book challenges the standard view that formal rhetoric arose in response to the political and social environment of ancient Athens. Instead, it is argued, it was the theatre of Ancient Greece, first appearing around 500 BC that prompted the development of formalized rhetoric, which evolved soon thereafter. Indeed, ancient Athenian drama was inextricably bound to the city-state’s development as a political entity, as well as to the birth of rhetoric. Ancient Greek dramatists used mythical conflicts as an opportunity for staging debates over issues of contemporary relevance, civic responsibility, war, and the role of the gods.

The author shows how the essential feature of dialogue in drama created a ‘counterpoint’—an interplay between the actor making the speech and the character reacting to it on stage. This innovation spurred the development of other more sophisticated forms of argumentation, which ultimately formed the core of formalized rhetoric.

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