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Classical Rhetoric and its Influence The influence that classical rhetoric has had on very famous modern-day speeches can be accredited to Cicero the greatest Roman orator of all time The same rhetorical devices and the elements of style that Cicero incorporated in his compelling oration against Catiline are still utilized today One such powerful speech that included Ciceros style and rhetoric was John F Kennedys inaugural address Ciceros In Catilinam is full of rhetorical devices One such device that Cicero often utilizes is an anaphora the repetition of a word or phrase When skillfully placed within an oration an anaphora can enhance the effectiveness of a speech An example of increased effectiveness by using an anaphora is shown when Cicero tells Catiline Nihil agis nihil moliris nihil cogitas quod non ego non modo audiam sed etiam videam planeque sentiam III819-20 John F Kennedy also uses a similar tactic in his speech when he says we shall pay any price bear any burden meet any hardship support any friend oppose any foe to assure the survival and success of liberty Like Cicero Kennedy also incorporates the use of tricolons help them help themselves for whatever period is required not because the Communists may be doing it nor because we seek their votes but because it is right Using a tricolon while speaking in reference to the impoverished Kennedys form seemed to reflect a genuine intention to help the citizens of the world Both Kennedy and Cicero captivated their audience with their statements One such literary device that made that possible is a chiasmus which consists of two corresponding pairs arranged not in parallels a-b-a-b but in inverted order a-b-b-a For example when Cicero says castrorum impedatorem ducemque hostium II516 The use of a chiasmus helps to make a memorable statement The most famous line within Kennedys speech is proof of that And so my fellow Americans ask not what your country
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