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Demosthenes' "On the Crown"

Rhetorical Perspectives

by James J. Murphy(ed.) ; Lois Peters Agnew(contrib.) ; David Mirhady(contrib.) ; Richard A Katula(contrib.) ; Jeffrey Walker(contrib.) ; Richard Leo Enos(contrib.)
Demosthenes' On the Crown by James J. Murphy
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Demosthenes’ speech On the Crown (330 B.C.E.), in which the master orator spectacularly defended his public career, has long been recognized as a masterpiece. The speech has been in continuous circulation from Demosthenes’ lifetime to the present day, and multiple generations have acclaimed it as the greatest speech ever written. In addition to a clear and accessible translation, Demosthenes’“On the Crown”:Rhetorical Perspectives includes eight essays that provide a thorough analysis—based on Aristotelian principles—of Demosthenes’ superb rhetoric.

The volume includes biographical and historical background on Demosthenes and his political situation; a structural analysis of On the Crown; and an abstract of Aeschines’ speech Against Ctesiphon to which Demosthenes was responding. Four essays by contributors analyze Demosthenes’ speech using key elements of rhetoric defined by Aristotle: ethos, the speaker’s character or authority; pathos, or emotional appeals; logos, or logical appeals; and lexis, a speaker’s style. An introduction and an epilogue by Murphy frame the speech and the rhetorical analysis of it.

By bringing together contextual material about Demosthenes and his speech with a translation and astute rhetorical analyses, Demosthenes’“On the Crown”:Rhetorical Perspectives highlights the oratorical artistry of Demosthenes and provides scholars and students with fresh insights into a landmark speech.
Southern Illinois University Press; October 2016
ISBN 9780809335114
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Title: Demosthenes' "On the Crown"
Author: James J. Murphy; Lois Peters Agnew; David Mirhady; Richard A Katula; Jeffrey Walker; Richard Leo Enos
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