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  This section contains a compendium of 200+ brief audio and video clips illustrating 40 different figures of speech.

Most of these figures were constructed, identified, and classified by Greek and Roman teachers of rhetoric in the Classical period.

For each rhetorical device, definitions and examples (text, audio, video) are provided. Audio and video examples are taken from public speeches and sermons, movies, songs, lectures, oral interpretations of literature, and other media events.

Some artifacts have been edited further to make the devices easier to detect. In the interest of diversity, a range of voices and perspectives is included.





















Show Me More Asyndetons


C.S. Lewis: "Forget Psychology. Forget the inside of men's heads. Judge them by their actions. For example, Mr. Whistler is asleep. Now, from that action, I take it that he has no interest in what I have to say. The puzzle is, that being the case, why is he here at all? So, we construct a plot from Mr. Whistler's actions: he comes, he sleeps. Now, Aristotle would say that the next question is not why, but what is Mr. Whistler going to do next? [Mr. Whistler awakens from his slumber.] Good morning, Mr. Whistler. My class is not compulsory, neither are my chairs very comfortable."

Peter Whistler: "Alright, I'm going."

C.S. Lewis: "Thank you. He comes, he sleeps, he goes. So the plot thickens...."


Huey P. Long: "The Democracy Party and the Republican Party were just like the old patent medicine drummer that used to come around our country. He had two bottles of medicine. He'd play a banjo and he'd sell two bottles of medicine. One of those bottles of medicine was called Hipopalorum. And another one of those bottles of medicine was called Lopopahirum. Finally, somebody around there said, 'Is there any difference in these medicines?' 'Oh,' he said, 'considerable.' 'They're both good, but they're different.' He said, 'that Hipopalorum is made from the bark off the tree that we take from the top down. And that Lopopahirum is made from the bark that we take from the root up.' And the only difference that I have found between the Democratic leadership and the Republican leadership was that one of them was skinning from the ankle up and the other one from the ear down, when I got to Congress.


Show Me More Anadiploses


Margaret Thatcher: "Of course our vision and our aims go far beyond the complex arguments of economics, but unless we get the economy right we shall deny our people the opportunity to share that vision and to see beyond the narrow horizons of economic necessity. Without a healthy economy we canít have a healthy society and without a healthy society the economy wonít stay healthy for long."



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American Rhetoric.
Created by Michael E. Eidenmuller.
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