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The art of using language effectively so as to persuade or influence others, esp.
the exploitation of figures of speech and other compositional techniques to this end; the study of principles and rules to be followed by a speaker or writer striving for eloquence, esp. as formulated by ancient Greek and Roman writers.
In the Middle Ages rhetoric was included in the seven liberal arts and was taught as part of the trivium (see TRIVIUM n.).
In the Middle Ages, the lower division of the seven liberal arts, comprising grammar, rhetoric, and logic.
Definitions from the Oxford English Dictionary Online
"Rationalize rhetoric and it speaks to your mind, personify her and she speaks to your soul"
This broad ranging web site exploring all aspects of rhetoric includes an Online Speech Bank of over 5.000 audio and video versions of public speeches, sermons, legal proceedings, lectures, debates, interviews, and other recorded media events.
See also Top 100 Speeches, Movie Speeches and more.
More Online Sources
Speeches on Social Justice
Full text of speeches relating to social justice, historical and contemporary.
Forest of Rhetoric
A guide to the terms of classical and renaissance rhetoric created by Dr. Gideon Burton of Brigham Young University.
Speeches in the NU Library Collection