By Donovan J. Ochs
Consolatory Rhetoric explores Greco-Roman funeral rites to bare how opposing symbols functioned rhetorically to convenience historic groups. whereas the majority of rhetorical feedback translates written texts, Donovan Ochs broadens the normal concentration to think about non-verbal symbols in addition to motion and item languages. Ochs demonstrates that non-discursive dimensions of Greco-Roman burial rites held a spot of specific persuasive value in consoling the population, and he attributes funeral customs practiced in modern Western civilization to the legacy of the traditional Greeks and Romans.
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Extra resources for Consolatory rhetoric: grief, symbol, and ritual in the Greco-Roman era
Rhetorical Situations and Death The death of an individual, while a natural and real event, brings into existence a rhetorical situation replete with its exigences, audiences, and constraints. Within this rhetorical situation symbolic acts engage audiences in an attempt to bring about multiple changes in those directly and indirectly affected by the death. Those closest to the deceased and therefore most likely to be engulfed in personal grief need rhetorical acts that specifically address their psychological states.
Neither the sociologist nor the anthropologist, nor, for that matter, the historian or classicist undertake the study of people using symbol systems to affect the belief, attitude, Page 13 and value systems of an audience. Such is the province of the rhetorician working as a critic of symbol systems used for suasive ends. Nonetheless, the exceptional work of many scholars in these related disciplines provides the basis on which rest the detailed arguments of symbolic consolation in subsequent chapters.
Is it multivocal? 28 Symbols are richly diverse, that is, a panoply of actions and objects can serve as symbols. One need only reflect on the typical marriage ritual in our own culture to witness the use of such objects as candles, flowers, carpets, rings, veils, formal attire, etc. In the same ritual we see a number of actions used symbolicallya march, a "giving away," a joining of hands, a recessional, the throwing of rice, the decorating of the wedding car, etc. Insofar as symbols are multivocal (in verbal systems univocality of terms is prized) a variety of different meanings can be attached.
Consolatory rhetoric: grief, symbol, and ritual in the Greco-Roman era by Donovan J. Ochs