Many chapters in Book I of Aristotle's Rhetoric cover the various typical deliberative arguments in Athenian culture.
Aristotle discusses the types of political topics of deliberative rhetoric. The five most common are finance, war and peace, national defense, imports and exports, and the framing of laws.This is a continuation of Chapter Five, explaining in greater detail the stoikhea (elements) of the "good" described in the previous chapter.This chapter discusses the virtues and concepts of to kalon (the honorable) included in epideictic rhetoric. Aristotle describes what makes certain topics appropriate or worthy for praise or blame. He also states that it is important to highlight certain traits of the subject of praise.This chapter, also about judicial rhetoric, discusses people's dispositions of mind and whom people wrong from the hedone discussed in the previous chapter. Aristotle emphasizes the importance of willingness, or intentions, of wrongdoings.Aristotle classifies all acts that are just and unjust defined in judicial rhetoric. He also distinguishes what kinds of actions are fair and unfair with being just.This chapter parallels the koinon described in Chapter Seven. Aristotle is clarifying the magnitude in relation to questions of "wrongdoing" meant for judicial rhetoric.Aristotle summarizes the arguments available to a speaker in dealing with evidence that supports or weakens a case. These atechnic pisteis contain laws, witnesses, contracts, tortures, and oaths.
Chapters 2–11 explore those emotions useful to a rhetorical speaker. Aristotle provides an account on how to arouse these emotions in an audience so that a speaker might be able to produce the desired action successfully (Book 2.2.27). Aristotle arranges the discussion of the emotions in opposing pairs, such as anger and calmness or friendliness and enmity. For each emotion, Aristotle discusses the person's state of mind, against whom one directs the emotion, and for what reasons (Book 2.1.9). It is pertinent to understand all the components in order to stimulate a certain emotion within another person. For example, to Aristotle, anger results from the feeling of belittlement (Book 2.2.3–4). Those who become angry are in a state of distress due to a foiling of their desires (Book 2.2.9). The angry direct their emotion towards those who insult the latter or that which the latter values. These insults are the reasoning behind the anger (Book 2.2.12–27). In this way, Aristotle proceeds to define each emotion, assess the state of mind for those experiencing the emotion, determine to whom people direct the emotion, and reveal their reasoning behind the emotion. The significance of Aristotle's analysis stems from his idea that emotions have logical grounding and material sources.
Book II ends with a transition to Book III. The transition concludes the discussion of pathos, ethos, paradigms, enthymemes, and maxims so that Book III may focus on delivery, style, and arrangement.
Summarizes Aristotle's Book I and Book II and introduces the term hypokrisis (pronuntiatio). Aristotle argues that voice should be used to most accurately represent the given situation as exemplified by poets (Bk. 3 1:3-4).Deals with "frigid" language. This occurs when one uses elaborate double words, archaic, and rare words, added descriptive words or phrases, and inappropriate metaphors (Bk. 3 3:1-4).Discusses another figurative part of speech, the simile (also known as an eikon). Similes are only occasionally useful in speech due to their poetic nature and similarity to metaphor.Addresses how to speak properly by using connectives, calling things by their specific name, avoiding terms with ambiguous meanings, observing the gender of nouns, and correctly using singular and plural words (Bk. 3 5:1-6).Gives practical advice on how to amplify language by using onkos (expansiveness) and syntomia (conciseness). Not using the term circle, but giving its definition, would exemplify onkos, and using the word as the definition would exemplify syntomia (Bk.3 5:1-3).Aristotle expands on the use of appropriate style in addressing the subject. "Lexis will be appropriate if it expresses emotion and character and is proportional to the subject matter". Aristotle stresses emotion, credibility, genus (like age), and moral state as important considerations (Bk. 3 7:1-6).Rhythm should be incorporated into prose to make it well "rhythmed" but not to the extent of a poem (Bk.3 8:3-7).Looks at periodic style and how it should be seen as a rhythmical unit and used to complete a thought to help understand meaning (Bk.3 9:3-4).Aristotle further highlights the metaphor and addresses how it brings about learning and enables visualization (Bk. 3 10:1-6).Explains why devices of style can defamiliarize language. Aristotle warns that it is inappropriate to speak in hyperbole (Bk. 3 11:15).Discusses the prooemiun (introduction), which demonstrates how the introduction should be used in both epideictic and judicial speeches. Both have the main goal of signaling the end of the speech (Bk. 3 14:1-11).Looks at the pistis or the proof in an oration, and how it varies in each type of speech.
Erotēsis, also known as interrogation referred to asking and demanding responses in trials during Aristotle's time. It is seen as, "most opportune when an opponent has said one thing and when if the right question is asked, an absurdity results" (Bk. 3 19:1).Aristotle's final chapter in Book III discusses epilogues, which are the conclusion of speeches and must include four things: "disposing the hearer favorably toward the speaker and unfavorably to the opponent, amplifying and minimizing, moving the hearer into emotional reactions, and giving reminder of the speech's main points" (Bk. 3 19:1-4).