英语演讲中的修辞手法Rhetoric Device in English Speech 第8页
3.7 Rhetorical question
A rhetorical question is a figure of speech in the form of a question posed for its persuasive effect without the expectation of a reply. Rhetorical questions encourage the listener to think about what the (often obvious) answer to the question must be. When a speaker states, "How much longer must our people endure this injustice?”, no formal answer is expected. Rather, it is a device used by the speaker to assert or deny something.
Use a rhetorical question as a lead-in from an introduction to the body of speech. The author already knows the answer the intended audience will give. This is an effective use of the rhetorical question. While rhetorical questions aren't meant to be answered, they are used to engage the audience's attention. Once the orator has that attention, he/she should follow it up with relevant material that not only answers the rhetorical question, directly or indirectly, but which expands on it. The rhetorical question is often the introduction to a larger topic.
①“Shall we pause now and turn our back upon the road that lies ahead? Shall we call this the promised land? Or, shall we continue on our way? “（Franklin D. Roosevelt）
The actual intention of the above question is negative answer, with the use of rhetorical question, the speaker expressed strong feeling and enhanced what he said to be persuasive.
②“But when shall we be stronger? Will it be the next week, or the next year? Will it be when we are totally disarmed, and when a British guard shall be stationed in every house? Shall we gather strength but irresolution and inaction? Shall we acquire the means of effectual resistance by lying supinely on our backs and hugging the delusive phantom of hope, until our enemies shall have bound us hand and foot?”
③“Is life so dear, or peace so sweet, as to be purchased at the price of chains and slavery?”
“Are we disposed to be of the number of those who, having eyes, see not, and, having ears, hear not, the things which so nearly concern their temporal salvation?”
(“Give Me Liberty or Give Me Death”, by Patrick Henry)
This address was made when the American colonies facing the historical choice-- either to take up arms and strive for independence, or compromises and enslaved. Henry using this question with keen eyes full of politicians and patriotic passion, to refute all sorts of falsehood and expound the necessity and possibility of armed struggle. He uses the technique of rhetorical question to very good effect, very expressive, encouraging and power, which deeply infection by the audience. From then on, the slogan “give me liberty, or give me death” inspired millions of people to fight for the independence of the North America.
Obviously, rhetoric is commonly used in English speeches. It endows English speeches unique artistic charm. Because of the use of rhetoric in speeches, the language becomes more fascinating, humorous, vivid and colorful, which give audience deep impression. Simile, metaphor, parallelism，alliteration，repetition, antithesis ,rhetorical question are the most frequently used rhetorical devices in English speeches, which can achieve desired effects of English speeches. For the use of rhetoric in English speeches, orators can use the simplest language to express the most complex meaning, which makes the rhetoric fully express its charm.
From the analysis and study above, it can be found that the use of rhetorical devices contributes a lot to successful speeches. Rhetorical devices are the determinative factors in English speeches. Generally speaking, by analyzing and studying the use of rhetoric in speeches, more wonderful speeches can be appreciated and the quintessence of rhetoric can be grasped. 本文来自六'维,论~文.网
In a word, a successful speech needs ingenious using of rhetoric device. The function of rhetoric in English speeches is self-evident.
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