Cicero, De Oratore, Book II

Cicero. "From De Oratore, Book II." The Rhetorical Tradition: Readings from Classical Times to the Present. 2nd ed. Trans. E. W. Sutton and H. Rackham. Eds. Patricia Bizzell and Bruce Herzberg. Boston: Bedford/St. Martin's, 2001. 320-335. Print.

In Book II, Cicero describes the learning process, including how students can imitate teachers of various styles, but some students will abandon models and follow their own path (320-321). He talks about legal cases, and the importance of listening to the source to understand the facts, then determining the nature of the issue (322-323).

Cicero writes: “for purpose of persuasion the art of speaking relies wholly upon three things: the proof of our allegations, the winning of our hearts’ favor, and the rousing of their feelings to whatever impulse our case may require” (324). This looks like logos (proof), ethos (hearts’ favor) and pathos (feelings).

Cicero explains different analytical methods depending on the type of topics, e.g., investigating correlated ideas, the definition of the idea, its component parts, etc. (326). Cicero discusses the art of arranging ideas and using variety and emotion to win the audience’s favor (328-329). Cicero warns to use caution with emotional oratory and particularly warns against jealousy (333-334). Finally, Cicero advises that to rebut an argument is to use the opposite—“goodwill may be done away with by hate, and compassion by jealousy” (335).

RhetoricKatie Ancheta