What is Rhetorical Criticism?

Oct 27, 2010

I was reading an article where a commenter has mentioned 'rhetorical criticism'. I could not make much sense so thought to know about this. For this you know what I might have done. I searched on Google. I have not found much on this.

Here is what Wikipedia says about Rhetorical Criticism:

Rhetorical criticism is an approach to criticism that is at least as old as Plato. In the Phaedrus, Plato has Socrates examine a speech by Lysias to determine whether or not it is praiseworthy. Rhetorical criticism analyzes symbolic artifacts (including words, phrases, images, gestures, performances, texts, films, and "discourse" in general) to discover how, and how well, they work: how they instruct, inform, entertain, move, arouse, perform, convince and, in general, persuade their audience, including whether and how they might improve their audience. In short, rhetorical criticism seeks to understand how symbols act on people.
“[C]riticism is an art, not a science. It is not a scientific method; it uses subjective methods of argument; it exists on its own, not in conjunction with other methods of generating knowledge (i.e., social scientific or scientific)." The end goals of such criticism is greater understanding and appreciation: “By improving understanding and appreciation, the critic can offer new and potentially exciting ways for others to see the world. Through understanding we also produce knowledge about human communication; in theory this should help us to better govern our interactions with others.

Rhetorical criticism

What is called "rhetorical criticism" in the Speech Communication discipline is often called "rhetorical analysis" in English. A wide range of conceptual and lexical tools have been developed to assist in the process of rhetorical criticism that explore everything from the effects of individual word choice to the range of ideological assumptions that undergird and shape a pattern of cultural expression. Major approaches include narrative, metaphoric, genre, pentadic, cluster, and ideographic (or ideological) criticism.
This all is not making much sense to me. I need examples sentence where I can see the use of phrase " Rhetorical Criticism". Can you please help me?

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