History is an important part of our culture; knowing where we came from will often help us determine where we are and where we are going. In the historical context of rhetoric chapter two describes the different definitions of rhetoric according to ancient Greece, Plato, and Sophists over time. He also talks about rhetoric in popular culture. The definitions between Sophists and Plato were of rhetoric were vastly different which is telling to how complicated rhetoric can be. “For the Sophists, rhetoric was the art of persuasion carried out through pubic speaking ... For Plato, rhetoric was the art of fooling people. (Pg. 41) This shows how different rhetoric can be applied in out daily live. We can either trick people or convince them ethically that what we say they need to listen to.
Rhetoric today has evolved into more than just speech or traditional text. In popular culture we are influence more by nonverbal rhetoric-how we dress, our use of technology, what political party we belong to-than we are traditional text. I think as we move into popular culture rhetoric will be more accessible to everyday people not just the elite. In popular culture we are able to blur the lines rhetorically because we have multiple channels that we didn’t have before.
As I said in the beginning, it is important to know where rhetoric came from to know where it is going. It is equally important to understand our culture because rhetoric both feeds off and into what we consider to be our culture and how it relates to our current lives.