- Code CLAS6000
- Unit Value 6 units
- Offered by School of Literature, Languages and Linguistics
- ANU College ANU College of Arts and Social Sciences
- Course subject Classics
- Areas of interest Classics and Ancient History , English, International Relations, Law, Political Sciences
This course revives the study of the ancient art of persuasion (or rhetoric) for the twenty-first century, educating students in the skills necessary to become more persuasive communicators. Beginning with a study of the fundamental elements of ancient rhetoric as set out by Aristotle, Cicero and Quintilian, we will examine some of the most famous examples of persuasive speech from the ancient world, including the appeal to Achilles in Homer’s Iliad, Socrates' Apology, and the speeches of Cicero. We will then apply our knowledge of rhetorical style to an analysis of famous examples of persuasive discourse and writing from the modern era, such as Martin Luther King Jr's "Letter from Birmingham Jail", John F. Kennedy's "Inaugural Address" and the speeches of Winston Churchill, Sir Robert Menzies and Paul Keating. The course will examine the role of persuasion in modern politics, advertising and marketing and there will be opportunities for students to practise their skills in persuasive writing and discourse.
Upon successful completion, students will have the knowledge and skills to:Upon successful completion of this course, students will have the knowledge and skills to:
- formulate structured, persuasive, clear and fluent forms of spoken discourse;
- construct and recognize logical, reasoned arguments in written discourse;
- critically analyse different methods of persuasion, including media, advertising, and political discourse;
- acquire a high-level of precision and style in oral and written communication; and
- develop a sound understanding of the role of rhetoric in ancient Greece and Rome and the influence of ancient rhetoric on modern discourse.
Indicative AssessmentEssay, 3000 words (40%) [Learning outcomes 2, 4, 5]
Speech to be delivered orally and also submitted in written form, 1500 words (25%) [Learning outcomes 1, 2, 4, 5]
Final Examination, 2 hours (held during the formal examination period) (25%) [Learning outcomes 2, 3, 4, 5]
Tutorial participation (10%) [Learning outcomes 1, 3, 4, 5 ]
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Workload130 hours of total student learning time made up from:
a) 36 hours of contact over 12 weeks: 24 hours of lectures and 12 hours of tutorial and tutorial-like activities; and
b) 94 hours of independent student research, reading and writing.
Requisite and Incompatibility
Prescribed TextsAristotle, The Art of Rhetoric (transl. H.C. Lawson-Tancred), Penguin, 1991.
E. Corbett and R. J. Connors, Classical Rhetoric for the Modern Student (4th ed.)
Preliminary ReadingChapter 1 (pp. 1-26) of E. Corbett and R.J. Connors, Classical Rhetoric for the Modern Student (4th ed.)
Aristotle, The Art of Rhetoric (transl. H. C. Lawson-Tancred), Penguin, 1991.
Socrates’ Apology in Plato, The Last Days of Socrates (transl. H. Tredennick), Penguin, 1969.
A.N.W. Saunders (ed.), Greek Political Oratory, Penguin, 1970.
Cicero, Selected Political Speeches (transl. M. Grant), Penguin, 1989.
E. Corbett and R.J. Connors, Classical Rhetoric for the Modern Student (4th ed.)
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- 6 units
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