Edited by Jana Pelclová and Wei-lun Lu
[Discourse Approaches to Politics, Society and Culture 79] 2018
► pp. 43–62
Chapter 2. Construction of the speaker’s persuasive image in public discourse
Classical rhetoric revisited
This chapter presents Greco-Roman conceptualizations of rhetorical ethos in order to show that classical rhetoric, when properly reconstructed in the framework of its (relevant) sociocultural context, can fruitfully contribute to the research and analysis of persuasive strategies in contemporary public discourse. A reconstruction of a model for analysis of rhetorical ethos is proposed and applied to selected contemporary data. The analysis presents a case study of persuasion through character in formal addresses of Slovenian Prime Minister-designates. Two issues are explored in particular: (1) the relevance of rhetorical ethos as a persuasive strategy and (2) the characteristics of rhetorical ethos in these speeches.