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Rhetoric is defined as the following:

1. the art of science of all specialized literary uses of language in prose or verse, including the figures of speech.
2. the study of the effective use of language.
3. the ability to use language effectively.
4. the art of prose in general as opposed to verse.
5. the art of making persuasive speeches; oratory.
6. (in classical oratory) the art of influencing the thought & conduct of an audience.

Linguistic devices that are key to rhetoric are commonly known as figures of speech and include:

Antithesis - an opposing or complimentary idea that acts as a counter balance/argument for the main point, serving to stress the importance of your argument.

Repetition - It was recently (and famously, or rather infamously) used by Tony Blair in his "Education, Education, Education" speech in 1996. It's also a major component in Shakespeare's writing - this is mainly in order to reiterate the point so that everyone would understand.

Onomatopoeia - the sound of the word suggests its meaning. E.g. Bang, Crash, Boing, Whoosh etc.

Metaphor - a thing is spoken of as being that which it only resembles.

Syllogism - a logical argument in three parts - two premises and a conclusion which follows necessarily from them. Otherwise known as the 'rule of three'.

Irony - deliberate use of words to mean the opposite of their literal meaning.

Allegory - a symbolic narrative. Also known as fable or parable and often contain a moral.

Anaphora - repetition of a word at the beginning of consecutive sentences. This is done to draw attention to the main idea e.g 'I have a dream' Martin Luther King Jnr.

Hyperbole - obvious and intentional exaggeration. An extravagant statement or figure of speech not intended to be taken literally, as "to wait an eternity".

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