Hill, F. I. (1972/2009). The ‘traditional perspective;’ Critical essay: Mr. Douglass’s fifth of July. In J. A. Kuypers (Ed.), Rhetorical criticism, perspectives in action (pp. 39-59). Lanham, MD: Lexington.
F. I. Hill wrote the article The “Traditional” Perspective in 1972; later edited in 2009. This article was meant to inform readers about how to apply traditional criticism through the use of the theory of rhetoric. It was divided into two sections; the first being an overview of traditional criticism, and the second being the application of this in his critical essay of “Mr. Douglass’s Fifth of July”. This paper works to summarize the ideas presented in Hill’s article (1972/2009), and analyze his perspective and if he was able to implement all the aspects of traditional criticism. Summary
In first section Hill defined traditional criticism as the twin tasks of explication, of what went on when speakers engaged listeners or readers, and evaluation, on how well the speakers performed the task of changing these receivers’ understanding of reality (p. 39). He wrote that a successful traditional critique requires the following steps: 1) recreation of the context, which is the physical setting of an event and the need to utilize rhetoric (p. 40-41). 2) The recreation of the audience, which discusses to whom the message is directed towards and how the speech is constructed to adhere to the audience (p. 42). 3) The description of the source of the message is the ethos: credibility of the speaker (p. 44). 4) The analysis of the message described three key terms: invention, disposition, and style. Invention is “finding the appropriate materials for the discourse” (p. 46) Additionally, invention discussed the ethos, logos, and pathos. Disposition is the arrangement of the materials in the message. Style is the use of language to make the material coherent and convincing (p. 45-49). Finally 5), the evaluation of the discourse analyzed the effect of the speech (p....
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