Before you make a speech it’s a good idea to know what you intend to accomplish. Quintilian helps us see some of the purposes.
Quintilian, and J.S. Watson. Institutes of Oratory. Edited by Lee Honeycutt, 2010. Kindle Electronic Edition. Book III Chapter 5.
“Every speech consists at once of that which is expressed and of that which expresses, that is, of matter and worlds” (Quintilian III.5.1.). The speech can seek “to inform, to move, [or] to please” (Quintilian III.5.2). Quintilian observes that some matters require proof while some do not. In some situations there is no need to prove anything (Quintilian III.5.3). Some questions are more definite, while some are more general in nature. “Definite questions embrace particular circumstances, persons, time, and other things” (Quintilian III.5.7). The indefinite is broader, for instance, whether marriage is good (Quintilian III.5.. Latin authors often call the definite matters “causes” while often the Greek term “thesis” is used for the indefinite (Quintilian III.5.11). Quintilian goes on to survey a variety of authors and their views about different types of proof.
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