Aristotle, Art of Rhetoric

LCL 193: 348-349

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καὶ γὰρ εἰς τὴν τραγικὴν καὶ ῥαψῳδίαν ὀψὲ παρῆλθεν· ὑπεκρίνοντο γὰρ αὐτοὶ τὰς τραγῳδίας οἱ ποιηταὶ τὸ πρῶτον. δῆλον οὖν ὅτι καὶ περὶ τὴν ῥητορικήν ἐστι τὸ τοιοῦτον ὥσπερ καὶ περὶ τὴν ποιητικήν· ὅπερ ἕτεροί τινες ἐπραγματεύθησαν καὶ Γλαύκων ὁ Τήϊος. 4ἔστι δὲ αὐτὴ μὲν ἐν τῇ φωνῇ, πῶς αὐτῇ δεῖ χρῆσθαι πρὸς ἕκαστον πάθος, οἷον πότε μεγάλῃ καὶ πότε μικρᾷ καὶ πότε μέσῃ, καὶ πῶς τοῖς τόνοις, οἷον ὀξείᾳ καὶ βαρείᾳ καὶ μέσῃ, καὶ ῥυθμοῖς τίσι πρὸς ἕκαστον. τρία γάρ ἐστι περὶ ὧν σκοποῦσιν· ταῦτα δ᾿ ἐστὶ μέγεθος ἁρμονία ῥυθμός. τὰ μὲν οὖν ἆθλα σχεδὸν ἐκ τῶν ἀγώνων οὗτοι λαμβάνουσιν, καὶ καθάπερ ἐκεῖ μεῖζον δύνανται νῦν τῶν ποιητῶν οἱ ὑποκριταί, καὶ κατὰ τοὺς πολιτικοὺς ἀγῶνας διὰ τὴν μοχθηρίαν τῶν πολιτειῶν. 5οὔπω δὲ σύγκειται τέχνη περὶ αὐτῶν, ἐπεὶ καὶ τὸ περὶ τὴν λέξιν ὀψὲ προῆλθεν· καὶ δοκεῖ | 1404aφορτικὸν εἶναι, καλῶς ὑπολαμβανόμενον. ἀλλ᾿ ὅλης οὔσης πρὸς δόξαν τῆς πραγματείας τῆς περὶ τὴν ῥητορικήν, οὐκ ὀρθῶς ἔχοντος, ἀλλ᾿ ὡς ἀναγκαίου τὴν ἐπιμέλειαν ποιητέον, ἐπεὶ τό γε δίκαιον μηδὲν πλείω ζητεῖ περὶ τὸν λόγον ἢ ὡς μήτε λυπεῖν μήτε εὐφραίνειν· δίκαιον γὰρ αὐτοῖς ἀγωνίζεσθαι τοῖς πράγμασιν, ὥστε τἆλλα ἔξω τοῦ ἀποδεῖξαι περίεργα ἐστίν· ἀλλ᾿ ὅμως μέγα δύναται, καθάπερ εἴρηται, διὰ τὴν



one. In fact, it only made its appearance late in tragedy and epic recitation, for at first the poets themselves acted their tragedies.2 It is clear, therefore, that there is something of the sort in rhetoric as well as in poetry, and [in poetry] it has been dealt with by Glaucon of Teos among others. Now delivery is a matter of voice, as to the mode in which it should be used for each particular emotion; when it should be loud, when low, when intermediate; and how the tones, that is, shrill, deep, and intermediate, should be used; and what rhythms to use for each subject. For there are three factors that speakers consider, namely volume, harmony, rhythm. Those speakers tend to carry off the prizes in dramatic contests, and as in the present day actors have greater influence on the stage than the poets, it is the same in political contests, owing to the bad state of our forms of government. But no treatise has yet been composed on delivery, since the matter of style itself has only lately come to notice; it is thought to be vulgar, and rightly so. But since the whole business of rhetoric is concerned with opinion, we must pay attention to it, not as being right but as necessary; for as a matter of fairness, one should aim at nothing more in a speech than to avoid exciting pain or pleasure. For fairness consists in fighting the case with the facts alone, so that everything else that is beside proof is superfluous; nevertheless, as we have just said, it is of great influence owing to the depravity of the

DOI: 10.4159/DLCL.aristotle-art_rhetoric.2020