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Thomas Sheridan (1719 – 14 August 1788) was an Irish stage actor, an educator, and a major proponent of the elocution movement. He received his M.A. in 1743 from Trinity College in Dublin, and was the godson of Jonathan Swift. He also published a "respelled" dictionary of the English language (1780). He was married (1747) to Frances Chamberlaine. His son was the better known Richard Brinsley Sheridan, while his daughters were also writers - Alicia, a playwright, and Betsy Sheridan a diarist. His work is very noticeable in the writings of Hugh Blair.
Elocution is the study of formal speaking in pronunciation, grammar, style, and tone.
Jonathan Swift was an Anglo-Irish satirist, essayist, political pamphleteer, poet and cleric who became Dean of St Patrick's Cathedral, Dublin.
Frances Sheridan was an Anglo-Irish novelist and playwright.
Thomas Sheridan was the third son of Dr Thomas Sheridan, an Anglican divine, noted for his close friendship with Jonathan Swift, and his wife Elizabeth McFaddenHe attended Westminster School in 1732–1733 but, because of his father's financial problems, he had to finish his initial education in Dublin. In 1739, he earned his BA from Trinity College, Dublin and he went on to earn his MA from Trinity in the early 1740s. He had his début in acting when he played the title role in Shakespeare's Richard III in Dublin. Soon after, he was noted as the most popular actor in Ireland, being compared often with David Garrick. Not only an actor, he also wrote The Brave Irishman or Captain O'Blunder which premièred in 1738. He became the manager of the Dublin theatre sometime in the 1740s.
Thomas Sheridan was an Anglican divine, essayist, playwright, poet, schoolmaster and translator. He is chiefly remembered for his friendship with Jonathan Swift.
Westminster School is an independent day and boarding school in London, England, located within the precincts of Westminster Abbey. With origins before the 12th century, the educational tradition of Westminster probably dates back as far as 960, in line with the Abbey's history. Boys are admitted to the Under School at age seven and to the senior school at age thirteen; girls are admitted at age sixteen into the Sixth Form. The school has around 750 pupils; around a quarter are boarders, most of whom go home at weekends, after Saturday morning school. The school motto, Dat Deus Incrementum, is taken from the New Testament, specifically 1 Corinthians 3:6.
Richard III is a historical play by William Shakespeare believed to have been written around 1593. It depicts the Machiavellian rise to power and subsequent short reign of King Richard III of England. The play is grouped among the histories in the First Folio and is most often classified as such. Occasionally, however, as in the quarto edition, it is termed a tragedy. Richard III concludes Shakespeare's first tetralogy.
Sheridan left his acting career, although he continued to manage theatre companies and occasionally play bit parts, and moved permanently to England with his family in 1758. There, his time was spent as a teacher and an educator offering a very successful lecture course. In 1762 Sheridan published Lectures on Elocution. Following that work, he published A Plan of Education (1769), Lectures on the Art of Reading (1775), and A General Dictionary of the English Language (1780). Each of these works was based on some form of an argument taken in an earlier work British Education: Or, The source of the Disorders of Great Britain. Being an Essay towards proving, that the Immorality, Ignorance, and false Taste, which so generally prevail, are the natural and necessary Consequences of the present to defective System of Education. With an attempt to shew, that a revival of the Art of Speaking, and the Study of Our Own Language, might contribute, in a great measure, to the Cure of those Evils (1756).
He lived in London for a number of years before moving to Bath where he founded an academy for the regular instruction of Young Gentlemen in the art of reading and reciting and grammatical knowledge of the English tongue. This venture apparently proving to be unsuccessful, he returned to Dublin and the theatre in 1771. Thomas's son Richard became a partial owner of the Theatre Royal in London in 1776. Two years later Thomas was appointed manager of the theatre, a position he held until 1781.
The Theatre Royal, Drury Lane, commonly known as Drury Lane, is a West End theatre and Grade I listed building in Covent Garden, London, England. The building faces Catherine Street and backs onto Drury Lane. The building is the most recent in a line of four theatres which were built at the same location, the earliest of which dated back to 1663, making it the oldest theatre site in London still in use. According to the author Peter Thomson, for its first two centuries, Drury Lane could "reasonably have claimed to be London's leading theatre". For most of that time, it was one of a handful of patent theatres, granted monopoly rights to the production of "legitimate" drama in London.
Sheridan attempted to supply the willing student with a guide to public speaking that was correct, appropriate, and successful. What he actually wanted was a total reform of the British education system, as he saw it disregarding elocution and/or rhetorical delivery. In his work British Education , Sheridan revealed that poor preaching was negatively affecting religion itself.
Sheridan's belief in the valuable effects of strong and correct public speaking was so strong that he was sure studying elocution would help ensure perfection in all of the arts. In British Education , Sheridan writes that preaching from the pulpit "must either effectually support religion against all opposition, or be the principal means of its destruction."
Convinced that English preaching was not done as well as it should be, Sheridan focused on delivery as the principal avenue toward delivering effective messages to an audience: "Before you can persuade a man into any opinion, he must first be convinced that you believe it yourself. This he can never be, unless the tones of voice in which you speak come from the heart, accompanied by corresponding looks, and gestures, which naturally result from a man who speaks in earnest." Sheridan believed that elocution was not restricted to the voice, but embodied the entire person with facial expressions, gestures, posture, and movement.
Published in 1762, this work is considered by many to be Sheridan's most well-known. He established a niche for his insights through decrying the current state of public speaking, as he often did: "so low is the state of elocution amongst us, that a man who is master even of these rudiments of rhetoric, is comparatively considered, as one of excellent delivery." Besides establishing the points previously mentioned, the quote also offers a more narrow definition of rhetoric that seems to be influenced by Peter Ramus.
Central to Sheridan's work was his emphasis on the importance of tones to eloquence. These tones, which correlated with the expressive effects one can give to their speaking, were something Sheridan considered an important part of persuasion. He stated, "The tones expressive of sorrow, lamentation, mirth, joy, hatred, anger, love, &c. are the same in all nations, and consequently can excite emotions in us analogous to those passions, when accompanying words which we do not understand: nay the very tones themselves, independent of words, will produce the same effects." For Sheridan, how a message was communicated was apparently as important as the message itself. He uses the example of someone saying in a calm demeanor, "My rage is rouzed to a pitch of frenzy, I can not command it: Avoid me, be gone this moment, or I shall tear you to pieces" to show the importance of tones to a message.
Because of this, Sheridan set out to address what he thought John Locke had left out in his treatment of language: "(t)he nobler branch of language, which consists of the signs of internal emotions, was untouched by him as foreign to his purpose."
Public speaking is the process or act of performing a good speech to a live audience. This type of speech is deliberately structured with three general purposes: to inform, to persuade and to entertain. Public speaking is seen traditionally as part of the art of persuasion. Public speaking is commonly understood as formal, face-to-face speaking of a single person to a group of listeners. Public speaking can be governed by different rules and structures. For example, speeches about concepts do not necessarily have to be structured in any special way. However, there is a method behind giving it effectively. For this type of speech it would be good to describe that concept with examples that can relate to the audiences life.
Rhetoric is the art of discourse, an art that aims to improve the capability of writers or speakers to inform, persuade, or motivate particular audiences in specific situations. Aristotle defines rhetoric as "the faculty of observing in any given case the available means of persuasion" and since mastery of the art was necessary for victory in a case at law or for passage of proposals in the assembly or for fame as a speaker in civic ceremonies, calls it "a combination of the science of logic and of the ethical branch of politics". Rhetoric typically provides heuristics for understanding, discovering, and developing arguments for particular situations, such as Aristotle's three persuasive audience appeals, logos, pathos, and ethos. The five canons of rhetoric or phases of developing a persuasive speech were first codified in classical Rome: invention, arrangement, style, memory, and delivery.
Richard Brinsley Butler Sheridan was an Irish satirist, a playwright, poet, and long-term owner of the London Theatre Royal, Drury Lane. He is known for his plays such as The Rivals, The School for Scandal, The Duenna, and A Trip to Scarborough. He was also a Whig MP for 32 years in the British House of Commons for Stafford (1780–1806), Westminster (1806–1807), and Ilchester (1807–1812). He is buried at Poets' Corner in Westminster Abbey. His plays remain a central part of the canon and are regularly performed worldwide.
Richard Whately was an English rhetorician, logician, economist, academic and theologian who also served as a reforming Church of Ireland Archbishop of Dublin. He was a leading Broad Churchman, a prolific and combative author over a wide range of topics, a flamboyant character, and one of the first reviewers to recognise the talents of Jane Austen.
Hugh Blair was a Scottish minister of religion, author and rhetorician, considered one of the first great theorists of written discourse.
Kenneth Duva Burke was an American literary theorist, as well as poet, essayist, and novelist, who wrote on 20th-century philosophy, aesthetics, criticism, and rhetorical theory. As a literary theorist, Burke was best known for his analyses based on the nature of knowledge. Furthermore, he was one of the first individuals to stray away from more traditional rhetoric and view literature as "symbolic action."
The term composition, in written language, refers to the body of important features established by the author in their creation of literature. Composition relates to narrative works of literature, but also relates to essays, biographies, and other works established in the field of rhetoric.
Rev Prof George Campbell DD FRSE was a figure of the Scottish Enlightenment, known as a philosopher, minister, and professor of divinity. Campbell was primarily interested in rhetoric, since he believed that its study would enable his students to become better preachers. He became a philosopher of rhetoric because he took it that the philosophical changes of the Age of Enlightenment would have implications for rhetoric.
Gilbert Austin (1753–1837) was an Irish educator, clergyman and author. Austin is best known for his 1806 book on chironomia, Chironomia, or a Treatise on Rhetorical Delivery. Heavily influenced by classical writers, Austin stressed the importance of voice and gesture to a successful oration.
Digital rhetoric is a way of informing, persuading, and inspiring action in an audience through digital media. It is an advancing form of communication composed, created, and distributed through multimedia platforms. Rhetoric combines multiple methods such as persuasion, effective writing, and effective speaking to present information in inventive ways. The meaning of rhetoric has changed over time, developing with changes in technologies. Online media are increasingly used as communication and information platforms, and since more text is placed online, there is more opportunity for persuasion through innovative and creative means. Because of this shift in rhetoric, the relationship between writers and readers has changed in form, communication style, and effectiveness. Digital rhetoric is advancing and changing how people choose to communicate their ideas with broader audiences. Both rhetoric and digital rhetoric hold various meanings and definitions depending upon who is looking at it; for example, the online journal Harlot of the Arts holds a competition through Twitter for people to define rhetoric, and the submissions are extremely varied.
Owing to its origin in ancient Greece and Rome, English rhetorical theory frequently employs Greek and Latin words as terms of art. This page explains commonly used rhetorical terms in alphabetical order. The brief definitions here are intended to serve as a quick reference rather than an in-depth discussion. For more information, click the terms.
Rhetoric of science is a body of scholarly literature exploring the notion that the practice of science is a rhetorical activity. It emerged following a number of similarly-oriented disciplines during the late 20th century, including the disciplines of sociology of scientific knowledge, history of science, and philosophy of science, but it is practiced most fully by rhetoricians in departments of English, speech, and communication.
Richard Eugene Vatz is a professor of Rhetoric and Communication at Towson University.
In philosophical discourse, lexis is a complete group of words in a language, vocabulary, the total set of all words in a language, and all words that have meaning or a function in grammar.
Sir Brian William Vickers, FBA is a British academic, now Emeritus Professor at ETH Zurich. He is known for his work on the history of rhetoric, Shakespeare, John Ford, and Francis Bacon. He joined the English Department at University College, London as a visiting professor in 2012.
Dr. Roger D. Duke is an author, theologian, educator, itinerant preacher, published scholar, and professor at several institutions of higher learning including: Union University, Baptist College of Health Sciences, Liberty University, Memphis Theological Seminary, and Columbia Evangelical Seminary. Professor Duke also serves as a Consulting Editor for B & H Academic Studies in Baptist Life and Thought series. He retired early in August 2016 to pursue his goal as an itinerant career speaking and writing. To help him fulfill this desire, he formed the Duke Consulting Group.
Debating societies emerged in London in the early eighteenth century, and were a prominent feature of society until the end of the century. The origins of the debating societies are not certain, but by the mid-18th century, London fostered an active debating culture. Topics ranged from current events and governmental policy, to love and marriage, and the societies welcomed participants from both genders and all social backgrounds, exemplifying the enlarged public sphere of the Age of Enlightenment.
Declamation is an artistic form of public speaking. It is a dramatic oration designed to present through articulation, emphasis and gesture the full sense of the message being imparted.
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