The Classical Origins of Public Speaking
Upon reading Michael and Suzanne Osborn’s Classical Origins of Public Speaking (located in the Supplemental Readings section of D2L and attached below), please answer the following questions on a separate WORD document that includes your name, date, and title of the assignment. Please number each answer and make sure that your name is on this assignment as well as all others.
Your answers should be thorough and well reasoned approx. 5-10 sentences in length for each question, and evidence an in-depth understanding of the reading material. Upload your WORD document in the drop box.
1. According to the text what is a communication symbol? How does it contribute to the “miracle of language”? Have you ever thought about communication in this same way?
2. Both Gorgias and Protagoras emphasize the precarious nature of truth in their approach to rhetoric. According to the text, why is the idea that “humans make their own truth” central to the nature of communication?
3. Thrasymachus thought speakers gained power by emphasizing presentation skills and impressive language over actual content. Do you agree with this strategy or might this vary from situation to situation? Can you think of any current media, political, or entertainment industry examples of Thrasymachus’ point of view?
4. Give an example for each of Aristotle’s theory of proofs (Logos, Ethos, Pathos). How can you, as a public speaker, employ these tools to your advantage?
5. What would be the effect of requiring citizens today to present their own cases in court? Would you favor such a system? Do you favor more direct participation, and public communication by citizens in government? Would Plato?
6. In your own opinion, why is the study of ancient rhetoric important to today’s student of public speaking? How can you apply these theories to your own communication or speaking?