The Is A Master Of Metaphor Essay

1558 Words Nov 4th, 2016 7 Pages
It is a great thing, indeed, to make a proper use of the poetical forms, as also of compounds and strange words. But the greatest thing by far is to be a master of metaphor. It is the one thing that cannot be learnt from others; and it is also a sign of genius, since a good metaphor implies an intuitive perception of the similarity in dissimilars. (Aristotle’s Poetics)
This quote by Aristotle appropriately sets the foundation to contemplate the idea of rhetoric in philosophical works. Contingent on content, many large works of literature are viewed as tools and sources of power. Language is an extremely powerful resource that influences copious amounts of people. Due to the highly theoretical nature of philosophical works, this same concept may not present itself as transparently, but, nonetheless, it is present. When thinking of philosophers such as Plato, Machiavelli, or Kant, one may not automatically consider their works as purposefully persuasive. Let us, therefore, consider the works of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and William Edward Burghardt Du Bois. Through an analysis of King’s Letter from Birmingham Jail and Du Bois’ The Souls of Black Folks, we see different rhetorical strategies. In Letter from Birmingham Jail, one can see how the rhetorical tools of logical arguments, assertion of authority, and emotion elicitation combine to produce powerful and persuasive bodies of work. The Souls of Black Folks takes on a different tone, and relies heavily on persuasive…

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