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Analogy and Allegory in Classical Rhetoric

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Chapter Summary

This chapter scrutinizes the comments of the Graeco-Roman rhetoricians upon the analogical aspects of discourse and suggests that some early Jewish and Christian settings for religious discourse were fertile grounds for the contributions of classical rhetoric, while, in contrast, others were seedbeds for analogical discourse of the sort unnoticed by the rhetoricians. While Greek and Roman writers on rhetorical theory and practice commented on similes and metaphors, that is, analogical figures of speech, they discussed only to a limited extent the larger metaphorical constructs in discourse. The discourse of Demetrius, On Style was famous for setting out four levels of style: the grand, the elegant, the plain and the forceful. The major ancient rhetoricians reflected upon discourse in the rumble tumble world of the law courts, the assemblies of the polis and larger governmental entities, as well as eulogistic discourse on festivals and ceremonial days.

Keywords: ancient rhetorical theory; ancient rhetoricians; christian settings; classical rhetoric; Jewish settings; metaphors



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