article of the Rhetorik (Greek ρητορική [τέχνη], rhetorikè (téchne) - the speech art) was in the antique one in the most general sense the art (free, public) of the speech. Task of the Rhetorik was it to investigate the possibilities andto make available the means, which are necessary, in order a community between speakers and listeners to manufacture (identification), on whose basis it one makes possible, a subjective conviction to make general (Persuasion). Today mostly theory and practice become under Rhetorikthe speech and the discussion understood. Scientific work to the Rhetorik concerns itself - particularly since the center of the last century - predominantly with the discussion as well as with questions of the talking and Gesprächspädagogik; the research comes from different fields of knowledge: thatSpeech science, linguistics, the psychology, the Pädagogik, the sociology among other things

Table of contents

history of the Rhetorik

the history of the Rhetorik beginsin the antique one. In the antique Greece and Rome there was sophisticated Rhetoriken, which regulated the steps of the mental processing of the material up to the lecture.

It always gave the practical Beredsamkeit (see. for instance Homer).Theory and theory of this art develop however only in 5. Century v. Chr from the practical necessity. Disputes for example around open property questions about Tyrannenvertreibungen or around different political positions, which were relevant for the public, led themselves to it,to employ mental more deeply with the art of the public speech. Who wanted to come to its right, request before court had to be personally to speak. Since the broad layers of the population were not sufficiently formed long, they looked for each other speech teachers - howKorax or its pupil Gorgias - which helped them with the preparation of the speeches.

As Aristoteles marks, Korax was probably concerned as the first with the convincing speech and the probability conclusion. Substantial elements of the Rhetorik such as evidence, indications and conclusion, persuadingand the correct time of a certain argument emerge here already, even if yet does not systematize.

Also in Platons dialogues (Gorgias) arguments are led across the speech art. The central distinction is thereby between philosophers and Sophisten.The difference is ethical: It concerns to the Sophisten only the power of persuasion of the speech, even if the opposite is to be convinced by something wrong one or contradictory one. This position is successful, but ethicalally doubtful; the true philosopher can it onlyaround go leading by the speech to the truth. Sokrates is attributed thereby the Mäeutik (in the metaphorical sense), the “midwife art” of skillful asking and interpreting of paradoxes, by which an opposite finds “automatically” to the truth. It is however todaydisputed whether the entire Platonic dialogues do not demonstrate a Sophistik of completely own kind.

Aristoteles developed a systematic representation of the speech art as the first (see to Rhetorik (Aristoteles)). He understands these as „the fortune, for each individual article and case toorecognizes, what in it because of conviction (or reliable one) is “. Rhetorik is to be convinced the art and thus as distinctive with Platon of sophistischen persuading. The Rhetorik does not have to lie always within the range of the truth, mostly been sufficientalso the probability and reliability. It may not be used however for persuading and seduction of the public. Aristoteles differentiates also between different causes of the speech and the appropriate style levels and argumentation ways, which can be used in each case.

Thosesystematic Rhetorik became long-lived text places. The Roman intellectual Cicero and Quintilian translated and supplemented the aristotelische “Rhetorik” and published own text books. In the Middle Ages these sources became the basis of the Triviums (grammar, dialectic, Rhetorik), thatat the universities of Europe formed the basic study and the basis of each intellectual activity.

For all early modern times (16. - 18. Century) is the Rhetorik the undisputed basis of the literature and its theory, the Poetik. More closely like Martin Opitz or GeorgePhilipp Harsdörffer wrote German-language Poetiken, whose structure and contents oriented themselves at the model of the Rhetoriken. The poem was considered as speech in the sense of the praise speech, and of the poet gel honouring SAMness and rhetorical training were required. Model for this process of the Vernakularisierunglatin was scholar culture of the early modern times.

Toward end 18. Century with the arising of the genius aesthetics under German intellectual ones the Rhetorik was devalued. Speeches should work now convincingly, because they flowed from the inside of the soul or the heart,and no more, because a certain technology was as skillfully as possible used. This devaluation led to the fact that in the course 19. Century the Rhetorik as training subject increasingly disappeared.Goethe even, who was one of the largest opponents of the rhetorical art teachings, had therebyeven enjoyed rhetorical training.

In France against it where since the Middle Ages the influence of the antique Rhetoriker at most was noticeable (within the religious range among other things Bad Suez and Louis Bourdaloue), revolution a further upswing in that became by the Frenchpublic Beredsamkeit released. To England the parliament promoted the training of Rhetorikern, like William Pitt, Edmund Burke, William Ewart Gladstone, Charles James Fox and Thomas Babington Macaulay.

During 20. Century became the term “Rhetorik” for a long timeTime nearly only in connection with Demagogie uses. Only at few Universities of (z. B. the Eberhard Karl university Tübingen) she is taught still as own subject. The speech science and speaker drawing however are occupied in a scholarly manner and searchingly predominantly with the applied rhetoricalCommunication. In modern linguistics rhetorical questions become z. B. in the context of the discussion analysis treats. In the meantime the rhetorical tradition was again rehabilitated also in the literature science. As Gebrauchsrhetorik (Rhetorik for managers and. A.) has it also again their placein the Bücherregalen, even if mostly to the direct and sometimes doubtful value in use reduces.

term of the Rhetorik

that the use of the term “today effected in so different contexts and meanings, has Rhetorik” with their two substantial dimensionsto do: On the one hand it is practice, on the other hand one it is theory. Rhetorik was always art teachings and art exercise at the same time. To in 17. Century took place a differentiation on the one hand in “rhetorica” or “rhetorica docens” as name for the theory (“speech art”), on the other handin “oratoria”, “eloquentia” or “rhetorica utens” for practice (“Beredsamkeit”). Today the science strives for a terminological distinction in “general Rhetorik” (for the theory) and “applied Rhetorik” (for practice). Rhetorik coaches and councellor authors ignore this however to a large extent. To that extentthe relationship between science and practice in this country is strongly characterized by mutual arrogance and Ignoranz.

Under “applied Rhetorik” one can understand the discipline of the practical speech. Someone makes use of the rules and techniques conscious or unconscious, insystem of the “general Rhetorik” developed historically are formulated. As concrete guidance for the verbal like written communication it training covers and exercise of effect-oriented speaking, behavior and letter. Realizations of the speech science and speaker drawing flow thereby today likewise like realizations a thatPsychology and linguistics (language teachings). The applied Rhetorik refers particularly to speech practice in the economy, in the policy and before court; but also the therapeutic discussion or the private controversy of it is coined/shaped. There it itself notonly on the mono log, but likewise on the dialogue, employs it refers likewise with dialectic (in the sokratischen sense) and becomes occasionally also as “Gesprächsrhetorik”(see speaker drawing) designates.

system of the Rhetorik

production stages of oneSpeech

of the idea up to the lecture are five steps (officia oratoris and/or. to go through rhetorices partes):

  1. inventio: Location of the arguments. Most important aid is thereby the Topik.
  2. dispositio: Arrangement of the lecture
  3. elocutio: Coatingthe thoughts into words (speech decoration, ornatus); the linguistic organization (choice of the words, rhetorical figures, kommunikative management, Satzbau, tracing)
  4. memoria: Stamp to the speech for the out-agile lecture (Memoria); Memorization by mnemonics, i.e. by figurative conceptions
  5. pronuntiatio/actio: Public lecture, with which stimmliche, mimische and gestische means are used. The stimmliche execution (volume, speed and tracing setting, articulation, Timbre, Prosodie); Mimik, gesturing and attitude (view and/or. Eye contact, Physiognomie, personalOperational readiness level, body language)

in the classical Rhetorik applies for its linguistic formulation to the development of a speech the difference between articles and thoughts on the one hand and on the other hand.


differentiates speech kinds since Aristoteles with respect to the Rhetorik three kinds:

  1. Court speech (genus iudiciale)
  2. Consulting speech; political decision speech (genus deliberativum)
  3. praise and commemorative speech (genus demonstrativum)

during in the court speech of passing one judges (e.g. Did the accused murder Mr. XY?), it concerns in the political decision speech a topic lying in the future (e.g. Is War to be led or not?). In both cases however it concerns an active decision, which is to be affected by the speech. In case of the praise and commemorative speech against it the public remains in a passive role.

parts of speech

The individual mental sections of a speech designation as partes orationis (parts of a speech).

  1. Introduction (exordium) - the speaker tries to attain the sympathetic consideration of the public and guarantee its attention.
  2. Narration (narratio) - whereupon a description of circumstances follows, overit goes; with the court speech the case is told here.
  3. Proof (argumentatio) - the actually arguing part of the speech, in which the speaker argues for the reliability of his thing. Also the refutation of the opposing arguments can cover.
  4. Speech conclusion (peroratio)- Conclusion: Here can e.g. again to the emotions of the public to be appealed.

impacts of a speech

Officia oratoris are called the impacts of the speech:

  • docere et rehearsing acres (instruct, argue) (genus humile) i.e. simple style
  • conciliare et delectare(win, please) (genus medium) i.e. middle style
  • flectere et movere agitate (, move) (genus grande) i.e. high style

mono log and dialogue

For the free lecture (mono log) the speaker uses different rhetorical figures, theses, premises and arguments. The argument increases here the premise or thesis by a purposeful conclusion, with which the speaker seeks to convince its opposite. By the arrangement of these elements in the free speech (increase, lining, dialectic up etc.) that producesSpeakers attention and tension at the public.

In the dialogue of a discussion the interaction wins special meaning. Far more than with the lecture, which can form quite also certain interactions, has the speaker now on the verbal and nonverbalen reactions its opposite tooreact. Here the straight body-linguistic signals play a particularly large role, which can be contradictory every now and then) as criteria of the emotional condition of an interlocutor. If nonverbale and verbal statement is unstimming, one speaks of Inkongruenz. The arrangement of the rhetorical elementsin the dialogue depends so particularly on the effect, which it obtains.


the Rhetorik is also literature-scientific auxiliary gauge for the central task of the Hermeneutik. Here she asks for the strategies of the representation, the reader guidanceand the internal effect intention of texts. With the text-critical knowledge of the Rhetorik written sources can be analyzed on their conviction strategies.

ethics and Rhetorik


Gedanken on the ethics are since a jeher component of the Rhetorik. When it actsitself with a speech (still) around legitimate affecting of attitudes? Where does manipulation begin? Does the purpose sanctify all means? A conflict around these questions developed in the antique one already between Sophisten (about Gorgias, ISOC advice) and philosopher(about Sokrates, Platon). So that the question about “last” truth, which could have created clarity, was closely connected, as and about which one may convince.

Many antique authors developed conceptions of it, which means of the Rhetorik are ethicalally legitimateand so the Akzeptabilität of the speech increases. With Aristoteles about it means: “By it, as the speaker appears, we win confidence, and that is the case if he appears as honest or friendly gesinnter humans or as both” (rhet. 1366a).Ethics in the sense of the charakterlichen coinage of the speaker ranks for it - apart from passion excitation and argumentation - among the three conviction means. Before it already was it ISOC advice (370 v. Chr.), that in its speech “Nikokles” for instance the golden rule asRecommendation for the speaker formulated.

In antique Rome there is in particular Cicero, Quintilian and Seneca, the one ideal picture of the speaker as “orator Perfectus” (Cicero) or “four bonuses” (Quintilian) sketch and thus Beredsamkeit, wisdom andvirtueful life with one another link.

In the Middle Ages the ethics shows up as form of applied Rhetorik about in the fact that Thomas's von Aquin strict rules for a “Scholasti dispute” formulated. These disputes forced a listening (as a form of the appreciation). Because before someoneto explain, had he was allowed to before show its own point of view in these exercise speeches the opposing speech contribution in a general manner correctly with own words (Paraphrasierung). Otherwise it was this-qualified.

If in Germany in the second half 20. Century countless in relation to reservationthe Rhetorik existed, then is to be due this also to its one-sided instrumentalization by the national socialism. The third realm and its Gräueltaten can also as one (!) Consequence of a Rhetorik without perfect ethical foundation to be regarded (see Joseph Goebbels).There are bad speakers” in common opinion no “bad language” - only “.

Critics would recognize in this argumentation however on the one hand a rhetorical figure and on the other hand to the linguistic work Victor Klemperers would refer, that the language of the third realm, their Euphemismen and masking from the perspective one of pursuit threatened Jew investigated. Insult words, Diffamierungen and combat terms are likewise part of the language, can however hardly as neutral be regarded.

That in the German language the verb “persuade” as anrüchig feltand instead of its of “convince” as a goal of the Rhetorik one speaks - a differentiation by the way, which knew neither Greeks nor Romans -, may also as voucher for the relevance of an ethicalally oriented speech culture be rated.

historical speeches


  • „Rhetorik is the exit of humans from social Sprachlosigkeit “ (Joachim Knape)
  • „a good speech has a good beginning and a good end - and both should as closely as possible together lie. “ (Marks of Twain)
  • „the speech art is the all-most comprehensive art. “ (Aurelius Augustinus)
  • „therefore it is necessary using technical skill without one notices it, and the speech not as produces, but appear as natural tooleave - this makes it reliable. “ (Aristoteles)
  • „control the thing, then also the words follow - rem tene, verbs sequentur. „ (Cato the older one, 234-149 v. To Chr.)

see also

of source texts for the history of the Rhetorik

classical texts:

Humanisti texts:

literature to history and theory of the Rhetorik

history of the Rhetorik

  • Michael Cahn: Art of outwitting, Munich 1986.
  • Urs Meyer: Political Rhetorik, Paderborn2001.
  • Mark of Fumaroli (Hg.): Histoire de la rhétorique dans l'Europe modern, Paris 1999.

Theory of the Rhetorik:

  • Karl-Heinz God ore: Introduction to the Rhetorik, Munich 1998.
  • Joachim Knape: What is Rhetorik?, Stuttgart 2000.
  • Heinrich louse mountain: Manual thatliterary Rhetorik. A foundation of the literature science, 3. Aufl., Stuttgart 1990.
  • Peter Austria: Fundamentalrhetorik, Hamburg 1990.
  • Ottmers, Clemens: Rhetorik, Stuttgart and. Weimar 1996.
  • Chaim Perelman: The realm of the Rhetorik, Munich 1980.
  • Plett, Heinrich F.: Introduction tothe rhetorical text analysis, 9. , aktualis. and. erw. Aufl., Hamburg 1991.
  • Gert Ueding /Bernd Steinbrink: Sketch of the Rhetorik, 4. Aufl. Stuttgart and. Weimar 2005.
  • Gert Ueding (Hg.): Historical dictionary of the Rhetorik, volume 1ff., Tübingen 1992ff.
  • Gert Ueding (Hg.): Rhetorik. Term - history - internationality, Tübingen 2005.

Practice of the Rhetorik:

  • Bremerich Vos, Albert: Popular rhetorical councellors, Tübingen 1991.
  • Soudry, Rouven (hrsg.): Rhetorik - an interdisciplinary introduction , Heidelberg 2006

councellor literature:

  • Bredemeier, Karsten: Provocative Rhetorik? Schlagfertigkeit!, Zurich and.Cologne 2000.
  • Gentleman Mr., Paul: Speeches like a professional, Munich 1991.
  • Boiler, Jos: The power of the arguments, Weinheim and. Basel, 2001.
  • Kirchner, Alexander/Kirchner, Baldur: Rhetorik and reliability, Wiesbaden 1999.
  • Mühlbauer Winni, Fenner Joachim: NLP Rhetorik, 2. Aufl.Munich 2002
  • Matthias Pöhm forgetting it everything over Rhetorik, Frankfurt 2002
  • Rupert Lay: Lead by the word, Frankfurt 2001.
  • Samy Molcho: Everything over body language, Munich 1995.
  • Thiele, Albert: Convincingly arguing, Wiesbaden 1999.
  • Ulonska, Ulrich: Rhetorik, Stuttgart 2003.
  • Quail, Stefan: Rhetorik and public relation, Munich 2003.
  • Wolfhagen, Thies O.: Relevance of Rhetorik in different practice fields (personnel management, youth & adult education), Eckernförde 2005.

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