Classical Rhetoric and Modern Political Discourse

Greek orator.

Greek orator making a point at the Capitoline Museum in Rome, Italy. (Image courtesy of mharrsch on Flickr.)


MIT Course Number


As Taught In

Fall 2009



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Course Description

Course Features

Course Description

This course is an introduction to the history, theory, practice, and implications of rhetoric, the art and craft of persuasion through

  • Analyzing persuasive texts and speeches
  • Creating persuasive texts and speeches

Through class discussions, presentations, and written assignments, you will get to practice your own rhetorical prowess. Through the readings, you'll also learn some ways to make yourself a more efficient reader, as you turn your analytical skills on the texts themselves. This combination of reading, speaking, and writing will help you succeed in:

  • learning
  • to read and think critically
  • techniques of rhetorical analysis
  • techniques of argument
  • to enhance your written and oral discourse with appropriate figures of speech
  • some techniques of oral presentation and the use of visual aids and visual rhetoric.

Other Versions

Related Content

Leslie Perelman. 21W.747 Classical Rhetoric and Modern Political Discourse. Fall 2009. Massachusetts Institute of Technology: MIT OpenCourseWare, License: Creative Commons BY-NC-SA.

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