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Rhetoric refers to the literary art, which comprises discourses that are intended to improve the speaking and writing abilities of the speaker. Rhetoric entails persuasion, coercion, and even motivation. Rhetoric is often used by politicians, teachers, philosophers, and preachers. Arguments and discussions comprise rhetoric. Rhetoric is instituted for specific purposes. It originates from one party and is channeled towards another party. These parties are known as the rhetor and the audience respectively. The language employed in rhetoric reflects knowledge, shared values, and logic. Furthermore, effective rhetoric employs the use of several stylistic devices. Rhetoric was used by philosophers such as Socrates and Plato to further their ideals. Generals, such Alexander the Great, also employed rhetoric to challenge and motivate their armies.   [“Write my essay for me?” Get help here.]

In capturing the evolution of rhetoric, the influences of women in the discipline is often understated. Despite the significant input of women into the discipline, none of them is captured in rhetoric anthologies. Women have had a significant influence on the discipline. Their inputs can be traced back to the 4th century BC. It is unacceptable and demeaning that they should be overlooked in academic The list of women who participated in the development of Rhetoric as a discipline is succinctly long. [Need an essay writing service? Find help here.]

Women and Rhetoric in the BC era
Aspasia comprises the first documented woman to have practiced rhetoric. She is projected to have been Plato’s teacher. Plato respected and revered her. Aspasia employed rhetoric in the extension of Socrates’ teachings. She is further credited with having imparted the principles of the Socratic Method in Socrates (Enos, 2002). Aspasia employed declamation as a medium of pedagogy. She reinforced the immensity of common-places in rhetoric. Aspasia, through her efforts, saw to the propagation of rhetoric. Other women to have promoted rhetoric in the before common era include Diotima. Diotima of Mantinea was alluded to in Plato’s philosophical compilation Symposium. Hortensia provides another fuel in the propagation of rhetoric.

Women and Rhetoric in the AD era
Julian of Norwich lived in the 14th century. She employed rhetoric to challenge the principles of medieval Christianity. The prevailing medieval Christianity values reinforced the inferiority of women in the society. As an English Mystic, Julian used her knowledge to counter these assertions. She instead prevailed that both men and women were equal in religion (Richards & Thorne, 2007). These sentiments began the calls for equality between men and women. Unlike Julian, Catherine of Sienna grew up at a time when the system of the papacy had been abolished. Italy was no longer under the direct authority of the church. The absence of this form of rule led to many wars within the country. Dissents were common and murders on the increase. Catherine, through rhetoric, appealed to the rulers to augment peace in the region. The writings were addressed to members of the ruling class called for the return of the papacy in Rome. She is credited with having started the ultimate return of the papacy system. She is currently a canonized individual in the Catholic church.

Christine de Pisan employed rhetoric to propagate female ideals. Christine compiled all of her rhetoric in France. Nonetheless, she was born in Venetia. Living in the medieval period, de Pisan was privy of the social impediments that afflicted women. She spoke out against retrogressive patriarchal principles (Enos, 2002). In promoting female ideals, de Pisan reinforced the need for the cultivation of wisdom and eloquence among women. Through her literary works, she advocated for reason, justice, and rectitude in human engagements. Essentially, her rhetoric was intended to improve the position of women in the society. She was not only a good writer but also a good speaker. Later on, she committed herself to training women on how to read and write. Her rhetoric addressed both the public and private segments of the society.

Mary Atsell promoted a rhetoric that stemmed from Christine de Pisan’s “safe haven for women” concept (Enos, 2002). Nonetheless, she opted for a more hushed stance in propagating her sentiments. She reinforced private speaking over public discourses. Unlike her predecessors, Atsell reinforced a rhetoric that was naturally artful. She also advocated for the second rhetorical nature. Before forwarding sentiments, Atsell prevailed that one should conduct a succinct analysis. In line with her predecessor’s sentiments, Atsell advocated for the empowerment of the woman in the society. She called for proper education of the womenfolk.

Sussane K Langer lived in the 19th century. She engaged linguistic components in her rhetoric. Langer used symbolism as an instrument that was used to further her thoughts (Richards & Thorne, 2007). In presenting her sentiments, Langer developed her generalizations from wider concepts. She also engaged other linguistic forms in the dissemination of her sentiments. She drafted three volumes on human feelings. Unlike her predecessors, Langer appealed to both mind and emotion. Kathleen Hall Jamieson comprises the contemporary influencers of rhetoric in the society. She limited her rhetoric to the political scene. She further assessed the inputs of the media in determining political sanity. Unlike her predecessors, Langer questioned the possibility of engaging effeminate tones and speeches in rhetoric.

In conclusion, the influence of women in rhetoric is a pervasive concept. Up to date, women continue to participate vocally in rhetoric. Nonetheless, present day rhetoric addresses new challenges that beleaguer the society. Initially, rhetoric had majorly been limited to the reinforcement of female emancipation. Given their inputs on the discipline, there is a need to enhance the mention of women influences in rhetoric compilations.[Click Essay Writer to order your essay]


Enos, R. L. (2002). The archaeology of women in Rhetoric: Rhetorical sequencing as research for historical scholarship. Rhetoric Society Quarterly, 32(1). Retrieved from Rhetoric Society Quarterly.

Richards, J., & Thorne, A. (Eds.). (2007). Rhetoric, Women, and Politics in Early Modern England.NY: Routledge.

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Hanna has won numerous writing awards. She specializes in academic writing, copywriting, business plans and resumes. After graduating from the Comosun College's journalism program, she went on to work at community newspapers throughout Atlantic Canada, before embarking on her freelancing journey.

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