Rhetorical Elocution: Figurative Expression of Political Discourse

  • Eglė Gabrėnaitė
Keywords: rhetoric, elocution, figurative expression, paralogic, political discourse


The modern definition of rhetoric is based on the conception of rhetoric as a universal system of persuasion, so persuasive discourses are the main object of rhetorical researches. Political discourse, the primary purpose of which is persuasion, is a textbook example of persuasive discourse. The paper presents a study into political rhetoric: the comments ant political programmes of the candidates in the presidential election in the Republic of Lithuania. This research aimed to determine the dominant figurative expression in political comments according to the methodological approach of the discipline of rhetoric and on previous studies. Figurative expression is a broad linguistic category involving the use of (non-)linguistic tools of expression which perform the aesthetic and (or) persuasive function. In rhetorical studies, a figurative expression is realised and analysed not as a standard embellishment of discourse, but primarily as an instrument of persuasion. It must be noted that for elocution-level rhetoric analysis of political discourse, essential expression tools are those that reflect the worldview and the values of discourse participants. Therefore, besides the rhetorical analysis, the methods of content and context analysis are also invoked. Discourse studies reveal a direct interaction between rhetorical tools and persuasion of the message. Rhetorical figures perform the function of information “framing” and adapting the expectations of the addressee.