How can language be used to entertain, to persuade, to emotionally affect us? What is it about a piece of writing that makes it stylish or appealing or well-written? Orient BlackSwan’s A Handbook of Rhetoric and Prosody aims to provide a clear understanding of the techniques used by writers, from the classical age to the present day, to make their words resonate with their audience. Written primarily for students and teachers of English literature-both at the undergraduate and the postgraduate level-this handy reference book examines every important rhetorical and prosodic device in a thorough and engaging manner.
The tropes and figures of speech in the ‘Rhetoric’ section of the book are categorised by type. This section not only defines each rhetorical term in lucid, accessible language, but also looks at its evolution, and analyses its use in detail through numerous examples culled from across centuries and genres. The ‘Prosody’ section introduces the reader to the varieties of regular and irregular metre found in English verse, along with various terms related to prosody. Most importantly, this section contains step-by-step guidance on the scansion of verse passages. In both sections, guided exercises and worked-out passages supplement and enhance the reader’s understanding of each topic.
A Handbook of Rhetoric and Prosody will help students develop the skill of close reading of verse and prose passages. Understanding the way language works is essential for better appreciation and criticism of not only literature across the ages, but also of current socio-political and media discourses.