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Journal Article

The Audience for Aristotle's Rhetoric

Edward W. Clayton
Rhetorica: A Journal of the History of Rhetoric
Vol. 22, No. 2 (Spring 2004), pp. 183-203
DOI: 10.1525/rh.2004.22.2.183
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/10.1525/rh.2004.22.2.183
Page Count: 22
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The Audience for Aristotle's Rhetoric
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Abstract

Abstract Although there is general consensus that knowledge of Aristotle's intended audience is important for understanding the Rhetoric, there is no consensus about who that audience is. In this essay, four of the most widely accepted theories are investigated: that Aristotle is writing for the legislator of an ideal city; that Aristotle is writing for the Athenian public or an elite subset of that public; that Aristotle is writing for his students; and that the Rhetoric was written for multiple audiences over an extended period of time. Ultimately, the most plausible of these explanations is that he is writing for his students.

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