French and Italian | Studies in 16th Century French Literature
F620 | 25996 | Mac Phail, Eric M


Topic: Renaissance Rhetoric.  This course proposes a comprehensive
review of the pervasive role of rhetoric in Renaissance Culture with
an emphasis on the domains of education, literature, philosophy, and
politics. We will begin by surveying very broadly the history of the
rhetorical tradition from antiquity to the Renaissance and reviewing
the bibliographical resources for studying this tradition. In this
context we will inspect some of the editions, translations, and
commentaries of Aristotle, Cicero, and Quintilian in the Lilly
Library. We will then cover a series of topics through a selection of
readings drawn from Renaissance texts, classical intertexts, and
modern scholarship. Topics include Rhetoric in the Renaissance
classroom, Rhetoric and theology, Rhetoric in the rivalry of humanism
and scholasticism, the Rhetoric of paradox, Rhetoric and monarchy,
and Rhetoric and civil war. All the readings can be done in English
translation, many from Wayne Rebhorn’s _Renaissance Debates on
Rhetoric_, but it would be unwise to take the course if you do not
already have a good reading knowledge of one of the following
languages: Greek, Latin, Italian, French. Each student will do an in-
class presentation on one of the readings and write a term paper on a
subject chosen in consultation with the professor.