In the excerpt from Plato about rhetoric, Plato describes this form of speech as an art that can be mastered only by a person who truly understands rhetoric. Plato’s description of what must be done in order to learn the art of rhetoric is a very complex web of knowing when to use which sort of speech or persuasion to the type of person who needs convincing and when to apply these means. I understood this passage after the first time reading it, to my surprise, considering the amount of material to become confused in. I have read a few other passages from Plato and the same theme occurs throughout all of them, the way he puts his words and sentences together make even some of the most hard concepts easy to understand.
Aristotle’s views on rhetoric are very much like Plato’s. The difference between them is how they describe the “art” of this type of speech. What really stood out to me in this passage was when he said “…that a man ought to be ashamed of being unable to defend himself with his limbs, but not of being unable to defend himself with speech or reason…” I believe Aristotle’s views on Rhetoric is a lot more aggressive than that of Plato’s only because of the way Aristotle uses his examples and how he describes his idea of Rhetoric. This excerpt, to me, seemed a lot harder to understand then the Plato’s.
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