Cool student essay on Roark's speech


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I just came across this cool little essay from the Student Pulse site. It is written by Tori E. Gibbs.

Epideictic Oratory in Ayn Rand's "The Fountainhead"

From the essay:

His speech is given in a courtroom, in place of his defense against the act of which he has been accused. Roark's speech aligns closely with the tenets of epideictic oratory, despite being held in a courtroom where one might expect a more forensic style of defense. Howard Roark's speech in The Fountainhead is nevertheless an excellent example of epideictic oratory.

. . .

Epideictic oratory takes place at public events and ceremonies, and considers topics such as praise and blame, virtue and vice.

. . .

... in order for a speech to be epideictic in nature, it must concern itself with virtue and vice, reinforce a set of values, demonstrate the advantage of an idea or practice, and encourage the audience to think or reflect on the subject and potentially form opinions and/or change their beliefs.

Howard Roark, though speaking in a courtroom—an entirely forensic setting—delivers a case of purely epideictic oratory. Where forensic oratory would deal with accusation or defense, Roark employs neither. He never denies having blown up the Cortlandt building, nor does he necessarily plead guilty to the act.

. . .

... the vast portion of Roark's courtroom speech deals with the exclusively epideictic subject of virtue and vice. He presents his own set of values, and proceeds to demonstrate the evil done in the name of selflessness.

. . .

Roark's demonstration of highly effective epideictic rhetoric in a courtroom suggests that the three rhetorical settings are perhaps more interchangeable than Aristotle and fellow rhetoricians present them to be. If an wholly epideictic speech can serve the same purpose (regardless of whether or not this is intended) as a forensic speech, the lines between deliberative, forensic, and epideictic oratory become distinctly blurred, leading us to question the applicability and relevance of ideas thousands of years old.

There we have it. If we ever need a 50 dollar term for Rand's fiction speeches to put down snobbish Rand-critics when they start name-dropping and using their own 50 dollar terms, we can lay "epideictic rhetoric" on them like a ton of bricks. For example:

Rand Critic (scornfully):
My dear sir, surely you have heard of Edmund McBlowhard's differentiating character developments in programmatic storylines. Rand's speeches simply don't pass the muster. Hoh ho ho ho ho ho...

Me:
For a man of your erudition, I marvel at your ignorance of Rand's evolutionary use of epideictic oratory, especially in
The Fountainhead
and
Atlas Shrugged
. I mean, it's all over her work. Rand's famous plot and character development through epideictic oratory is obvious even to the most limited intelligence. And you didn't see it. Hmmmm... Pity...

(walks off in triumph...)

:)

Joking aside, that was a helluva nice little essay...

Nice little site for that matter...

Michael

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Now the question is, can you pronounce it properly? I wish I could read dictionary pronounciation terms.

But actually, most people tell me when I pronounce a word wrong that I must be "well read" since it means I know the word well but I'm not familiar speaking it. Always a way to turn the situation to a win, I suppose.

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Christopher,

I haven't even tried to pronounce it.

Ever since I read the characterization of Rand's "epideictic oratory" on TV Tropes, in my mind I have been calling most of it, "The Reason You Suck Speeches."

:)

btw - It just occurred to me that the common term for "epideictic oratory" is good old fashion preaching...

Michael

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I did find online the pronunciation EPI-DIKE-TIC, though when I read it here for the first time, I went for the glide, EPI-DAY-ICTIC.

I did not find the word in my World Publishing from 1969 or my Mirriam-Webster's Seventh or in my Webster's 1828 (Facsimile) of the American Language. I did find words like it in my Langenscheidt's ancient Greek, where EPIDIXIS means exhibition and EPIDEICHTICHOS means showy.

I recommend against the word. It is not autochthonous.

Edited by Michael E. Marotta
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Here's an online pronunciator with the word already submitted so you can hear it: epideictic at How To Say.

The best graphic representation I have found is:

eh-pi-DIKE-tick

This is more important than it seems. It simply would not do to savagely destroy a snob with a scathing put-down, but mispronounce the word. Oh, the horror, the horror....

Whew! Thanks to Christopher, we're covered. Michael also provided us with some arcane detail to throw in if matters get rough.

Now all you have to do is get a meerschaum pipe, tweed coat, and practice looking down your nose as you chortle. The trick is to make it enough to sting, but not enough to become a caricature.

Michael

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I just came across this cool little essay from the Student Pulse site. It is written by Tori E. Gibbs.

Epideictic Oratory in Ayn Rand's "The Fountainhead"

From the essay:

His speech is given in a courtroom, in place of his defense against the act of which he has been accused. Roark's speech aligns closely with the tenets of epideictic oratory, despite being held in a courtroom where one might expect a more forensic style of defense. Howard Roark's speech in The Fountainhead is nevertheless an excellent example of epideictic oratory.

. . .

Epideictic oratory takes place at public events and ceremonies, and considers topics such as praise and blame, virtue and vice.

. . .

... in order for a speech to be epideictic in nature, it must concern itself with virtue and vice, reinforce a set of values, demonstrate the advantage of an idea or practice, and encourage the audience to think or reflect on the subject and potentially form opinions and/or change their beliefs.

Howard Roark, though speaking in a courtroom—an entirely forensic setting—delivers a case of purely epideictic oratory. Where forensic oratory would deal with accusation or defense, Roark employs neither. He never denies having blown up the Cortlandt building, nor does he necessarily plead guilty to the act.

. . .

... the vast portion of Roark's courtroom speech deals with the exclusively epideictic subject of virtue and vice. He presents his own set of values, and proceeds to demonstrate the evil done in the name of selflessness.

. . .

Roark's demonstration of highly effective epideictic rhetoric in a courtroom suggests that the three rhetorical settings are perhaps more interchangeable than Aristotle and fellow rhetoricians present them to be. If an wholly epideictic speech can serve the same purpose (regardless of whether or not this is intended) as a forensic speech, the lines between deliberative, forensic, and epideictic oratory become distinctly blurred, leading us to question the applicability and relevance of ideas thousands of years old.

There we have it. If we ever need a 50 dollar term for Rand's fiction speeches to put down snobbish Rand-critics when they start name-dropping and using their own 50 dollar terms, we can lay "epideictic rhetoric" on them like a ton of bricks. For example:

Rand Critic (scornfully):
My dear sir, surely you have heard of Edmund McBlowhard's differentiating character developments in programmatic storylines. Rand's speeches simply don't pass the muster. Hoh ho ho ho ho ho...

Me:
For a man of your erudition, I marvel at your ignorance of Rand's evolutionary use of epideictic oratory, especially in
The Fountainhead
and
Atlas Shrugged
. I mean, it's all over her work. Rand's famous plot and character development through epideictic oratory is obvious even to the most limited intelligence. And you didn't see it. Hmmmm... Pity...

(walks off in triumph...)

:)

Joking aside, that was a helluva nice little essay...

Nice little site for that matter...

Michael

Good find... :)

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Here's an online pronunciator with the word already submitted so you can hear it: epideictic at How To Say.

The best graphic representation I have found is:

eh-pi-DIKE-tick

This is more important than it seems. It simply would not do to savagely destroy a snob with a scathing put-down, but mispronounce the word. Oh, the horror, the horror....

Whew! Thanks to Christopher, we're covered. Michael also provided us with some arcane detail to throw in if matters get rough.

Now all you have to do is get a meerschaum pipe, tweed coat, and practice looking down your nose as you chortle. The trick is to make it enough to sting, but not enough to become a caricature.

Michael

Will have to remember my Harris tweed next time, then [already have a calabash :rolleyes: ]

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I'll keep an eye out, but at the moment I don't expect to see much of the word outside OL. Research reveals that it comes from a verb meaning "put forth or hold up for judgement."

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eh-pi-DIKE-tick

Thanks for posting the pronounciation. Sounds like a fencing parasite found in levees.

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  • 1 year later...

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