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This chapter analyzes the rhetoric and propaganda used by both supporters and opponents of these four regimes. Arguments for and against their sovereign claims formed a distinctive discursive web that defined the unique ideological shape of these contests. The types of argument in support of their sovereign claims are grouped into three broad argument families, which thematically divide the chapter. These were: (1) arguments articulating their authentic natures and the inauthenticity of their nationalist rivals, (2) arguments trumpeting their pro-Western orientations, and finally (3) arguments about how these pseudo-states’ sovereign claims favorably compared against legal states in Africa. This chapter will provide a broad framework to categorize the varied rhetorical and symbolic contests described in more detail in the chapters that follow.
How might a close reading of the language of revolutionary-era anti-slavery petitions contribute to a broader understanding of the politics of the American founding? This chapter focuses on one of the earliest surviving examples of African American political writing, the petition submitted to the Massachusetts House of Representatives in January 1773, by an author named FELIX. Revolutionary republicans came to disparage the petitionary form, because it had failed to persuade King George to defend his colonial subjects. The petition’s conventional language of deference and its tendency to “pray” or plead rather than to demand or insist led many colonists to reject the form in favor of far more assertive declarations of individual and collective right. By reanimating the petition, however, African Americans like FELIX not only contributed to the work of anti-slavery agitation; they also, as this chapter suggests, registered resistance to some of the dominant political ideas of the republican revolution. Drawing on historical studies of the significance of the petition in the colonies as well as accounts of the petition’s key formal and rhetorical features, this chapter makes the case for a specifically African American contribution to the political discourse of the founding.
Celsus penned the earliest known detailed attack upon Christianity. While his identity is disputed and his anti-Christian treatise, entitled the True Word, has been exclusively transmitted through the hands of the great Christian scholar Origen, he remains an intriguing figure. In this interdisciplinary volume, which brings together ancient philosophers, specialists in Greek literature, and historians of early Christianity and of ancient Judaism, Celsus is situated within the cultural, philosophical, religious and political world from which he emerged. While his work is ostensibly an attack upon Christianity, it is also the defence of a world in which Celsus passionately believed. It is the unique contribution of this volume to give voice to the many dimensions of that world in a way that will engage a variety of scholars interested in late antiquity and the histories of Christianity, Judaism and Greek thought.
The first chapter gives a general overview of Lysias’ work and explains some of the difficult aspects about his scholarship. We will look at the corpus Lysiacum, discuss issues of authenticity and establish Lysias as a writer with very broad interests and skills.
Comic prose has much in common with other genres and styles; timing and balance, for example, are integral to its effects. Jonathan Greenberg and David Galef offer an examination of many different techniques in comic writing that build upon and depart from familiar strategies, many of them relying on upending expectations. The chapter enumerates various techniques, including reversal, elaboration, soundplay, excess (and restraint) and parody.
The third chapter focuses on the way in which Isocrates frames himself within this intellectual tradition and how he becomes conceptualized as a representative of a philosophical-rhetorical tradition that sees itself as separate from (though not necessarily opposed to) the kind of rhetoric epitomized in the figure of Lysias. Isocrates is an author and teacher of the elite, a writer rather than performer, a philosopher rather than entertainer.
This Companion provides an introduction to the craft of prose. It considers the technical aspects of style that contribute to the art of prose, examining the constituent parts of prose through a widening lens, from the smallest details of punctuation and wording to style more broadly conceived. The book is concerned not only with prose fiction but with creative non-fiction, a growing area of interest for readers and aspiring writers. Written by internationally-renowned critics, novelists and biographers, the essays provide readers and writers with ways of understanding the workings of prose. They are exemplary of good critical practice, pleasurable reading for their own sake, and both informative and inspirational for practising writers. The Cambridge Companion to Prose will serve as a key resource for students of English literature and of creative writing.
This chapter explains the significance of Hildegard of Bingen’s letter collection for her public career and for understanding why she wrote letters, why editors collected them, and why readers desired to receive them. It places the letters into the larger context of letter-writing in the twelfth century; like her contemporaries, Hildegard saw letters as the most effective way to publicize her work, but the prophetic style in which she wrote them made them unique and particularly desirable for correspondents. The chapter describes how editors and collaborators gathered her letters into a formal, edited collection that would serve as a record of the widespread and beneficial impact of her prophecy and examines the relationship between Hildegard and her correspondents. The incoming letters reveal that people from all walks of life looked to Hildegard as a source of life-changing spiritual power, while Hildegard’s responses show her wielding that power in a responsible and orthodox manner. The chapter argues that Hildegard’s letter collection offers a unique perspective on the seer, one that brings us closer to the experience of her prophetic career than any other part of her corpus.
Use of rhetorical figures has been an element of persuasive speech at least since Gorgias of Leontini, for whom such deliberate deviations from ordinary literal language were a defining feature of what he called the ‘psychagogic art’. But must we consider figures of speech limited to an ornamental and merely stylistic function, as some ancient and still many modern theorists suggest? Not according to contemporary cognitive rhetoric, which proposes that figures of speech can play a fundamentally argumentative role in speech by evoking a level of shared meaning between speaker and listener, and simultaneously by affording the possibility of reorganizing this common ground. This paper argues that, in Latin literature, zeugma—the ‘linking together’ of two elements (usually nouns or prepositional phrases) with a third (usually a verb) that is semantically compatible with only one of them—can and very often does operate argumentatively, and that it does so by surfacing figurative relationships that normally remain below the conscious awareness of Latin speakers and by imparting a certain structure to these relationships. What very often motivates the selection of elements within zeugma—and what makes zeugma more than simply a stylistic device—are in fact metaphorical structures that are highly conventionalized in Latin's semantic system. In tapping into symbolic associations that are deeply entrenched in the language and thought of Latin speakers, zeugma therefore provided a ready-made device for constructing arguments in context.
This chapter analyses a set of keywords which were used to refer to ‘Us’, that is the author of the text and the social group that they belong to, which includes the reader as a potential member of that group. The keywords examined in this chapter are Islam, Allah, Muslim, brothers, believers, Ummah and you. The chapter introduces the reader to the main method of analysis which involves identification of representation surrounding each keyword via grammatical patterns through the corpus analysis tool Sketch Engine.
This chapter functions as a literature review, beginning with a summary of some of the terminological issues surrounding the study of terrorism. This is followed by an overview of theorisations of terrorism as communication, that is, the theory that violent acts are communicative. We then discuss not the practices and (verbal) expressions related to clandestine violence undertaken by terrorist individuals or groups. We explore some of the findings from previous research relating to the patterns in terrorists’ words and communicative strategies. We then turn to violent jihadist discourse specifically considering issues around polarised language and its relation to grievance-based discourse, the creation of shared identity, intertextual use of historical and theoretical texts and evocation of authority. We conclude by suggesting why the dearth of research on terrorist discourse poses problems for the creation of viable counter-terrorism measures.
In this chapter, the focus remains on language but moves away from representations around particular words to instead consider the ways in which specific types of language are used as persuasive devices in themselves. Here, we take another meaning of discourse, one which relates to the concept of register, text-type or genre and involves issues relating to stylistic choice. We thus explore some of the specific linguistic strategies that authors use in the data in order to highlight how these might contribute to the legitimacy or persuasiveness of the extremist discourse. We examine keywords that index formal register, as well as those connected to the concepts of truth and quotation. This is followed by a consideration of how code-switching into Arabic is employed in the texts.
This chapter examines the language around harm, focussing on keywords related to the category of violence: jihad, kill, martrydom and paradise. We identify the frequent use of a religious journey metaphor which extremist writers have taken from the Qur’an and reworked to justify killing. A key stage on this path then, is the conceptualisation of jihad as literal fighting and as obligatory, desired by Allah and in is his name. Three representations around killing help to position Muslims as victims, giving a justification for killing civilians, and helping to assuage fears around losing one’s own life as the result of engaging in violent attacks, again by invoking Allah’s authority and approval. Violence is cast as heroic martyrdom and justified as occurring within the context of a war.
This chapter gives an account of our data and method, specifically outlining how we collected and prepared the texts containing extremist language that are the subject of this book, along with the different tools and techniques that were used for analysis. The chapter then carries out preliminary analyses of the data, using Biber’s multidimensional approach before moving on to describe a methodology called Corpus Assisted Discourse Studies (CADS) which involves a collection of approaches that are united by their use of software to identify linguistic patterns in large, electronically-encoded sets of data. We also describe how we obtained and classified keywords across the three sub-corpora which were used as the basis of focussing our analysis on a manageable set of lexical items.
This chapter acts as a counter-point to the previous one, in that it also deals with how social actors are represented, but this time we look at those who are viewed as part of the out-group as opposed to the in-group, considering how the in-group use language to carry out ‘othering’ of the out-group. We examine how strategies of collectivisation, stereotyping, dehumanisation and separation are linguistically realised by examining the following keywords: kufr, disbelief, kuffar, disbeliever, America and evil.
In this concluding chapter we begin by reviewing our research questions, first by looking at differences between the Extreme, Fringe and Moderate texts, then by considering the aspects of language use that were frequently used to manipulate readers into accepting the ideology of violent jihad. Following these two sections we consider the implications of our findings for work aimed at creating and disseminating counter-discourses to extremism. We then reflect on the study itself in terms of the limitations and difficulties encountered, and consider how our work could be expanded in the future.
This chapter introduces the concepts that are central to the book, beginning with a discussion of the terms language, ideology, discourse and representation and then providing context around the concept of violent jihad. The chapter also introduces the data analysed in this book and considers their power to persuade people to carry out violence.
Much of our knowledge of women and warfare in medieval China comes from biographical/narrative genres of a retrospective nature. This article shifts the focus to an underutilized corpus: imperial documents conferring titles and rewards on women who commanded troops. I examine how the court described these women when it came to honor them, or even when it sought their support through real-time negotiation. In these cases, the recognition of women's achievements was conditioned not only by deep cultural/literary traditions but also by immediate political/military goals of the regime. As a result of the concrete political need to engage with female commanders, medieval Chinese courts deployed different approaches to eulogize them. My investigation shows that closer dialogue between gender studies and official document studies will lead to a more dynamic picture of how a patriarchal regime actually functioned in premodern China.
How do violent jihadists use language to try to persuade people to carry out violent acts? This book analyses over two million words of texts produced by violent jihadists to identify and examine the linguistic strategies employed. Taking a mixed methods approach, the authors combine quantitative methods from corpus linguistics, which allows the identification of frequent words and phrases, alongside close reading of texts via discourse analysis. The analysis compares language use across three sets of texts: those which advocate violence, those which take a hostile but non-violent standpoint, and those which take a moderate perspective, identifying the different uses of language associated with different stages of radicalization. The book also discusses how strategies including use of Arabic, romanisation, formal English, quotation, metaphor, dehumanisation and collectivisation are used to create in- and out-groups and justify violence.
Shakespeare’s canon includes many military figures, but arguably none is more successful than Henry V. In the play, the key to success is shown to lie in the king’s ability to instrumentalize the vehement emotions necessary to wage war. Shakespeare presents anger in Aristotelian terms as a hierarchical emotion reserved for elite men tasked with military leadership. The king’s deft use of anger demonstrates his self-discipline from his decision to invade France until his overwhelming victory there. This self-discipline distinguishes him from the quarrelsome soldiers (like the choleric Fluellen) who serve under him. The efficacy of Henry’s anger becomes evident when juxtaposed with the contrast in 1 Henry IV between his father’s ineffectual coldness and the reckless tempestuousness of Hotspur. In Henry V, the cool performance of hot emotions makes Henry a modern man of wrath.