- Sep 2018
deliberative, forensic, and epideictic.
The Greek epideictic means "fit for display." Thus, this branch of oratory is sometimes called "ceremonial" or "demonstrative" oratory. Epideictic oratory was oriented to public occasions calling for speech or writing in the here and now. Funeral orations are a typical example of epideictic oratory. The ends of epideictic included praise or blame, and thus the long history of encomia and invectives, in their various manifestations, can be understood in the tradition of epideictic oratory. Aristotle assigned "virtue (the noble)" and "vice (the base)" as those special topics of invention that pertained to epideictic oratory.
Epideictic oratory was trained for in rhetorical pedagogy by way of progymnasmata exercises including the encomium and the vituperation.
Sample Rhetorical Analysis: EPIDEICTIC ORATORY
We can understand the dedicatory prefaces to early books and manuscripts as a species of epideictic oratory. Given the system of patronage that for so long made publication possible, one can understand the sometimes long-winded flattery of dedicatory epistles and prefaces. To praise a patron was to effect the possibility of obtaining sponsorship. One Renaissance entrepreneur inserted some 30 different dedicatory epistles into the front of different copies of his work, attempting to hedge his chances that this epideictic oratory would move at least one of his potential patrons, to whom he presented the copy.