Critical Response to Cicero's Philosophies

Pages: 2 (559 words) Published: October 7, 2008
Cicero did a fantastic job in systematically presenting the psychological thinking behind a persuasive speech. The five situations which a speaker may encounter, as put forward by Cicero, are the resultant of five different kinds of audiences which one may face with during a presentation or delivery. Therefore, as emphasized by Cicero himself, one must use different strategies in addressing different audiences, and it is absolutely vital one does that in the opening of one’s speech (571). The five different kind situations or causes as referred to by Cicero are namely honorable, astonishing, low, doubtful, and obscure (571). Personally I feel that there might be a relation between the causes of low and obscure which Cicero failed to point out in his paper. It is understood that in low cause, the audience is not attentive and has no interest in the subject which is being elaborated by the speaker. If we would to stop here and try to come up with reasons behind such a behavior, it is easy to attribute it to the fact that the audience is simply ignorant, and has no knowledge of the issue or its importance. This of course is just one possible conclusion, but nevertheless a very logical one. As a result, we can relate this reasoning towards the cause of obscure as it is explained that in this kind of cause, the audience does not fully understand the issues involved (571). With this understanding in mind, it is clear that obscurity may result in a lack of interest and concentration among the audience, which will eventually undermine the importance of the issues, in the listeners’ mind. One thing which I believe most of the people would agree with Cicero is the fact that it is of absolute importance, to harness as much good will from the audience as possible. It makes perfect sense that to win over the crowd during a delivery; one has to make sure that the crowd likes one as a speaker. However, this is not to say that the words of persuasion and rhetorical invention are...
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