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ENGL101: Introduction to Literary Studies

Unit 5: Rhetoric and the Critical Essay   As you have discovered by now, literary criticism requires you to carefully read and analyze literary texts. It also requires you to develop a convincing argument that encourages readers to view a piece of writing in a new way. The best literary criticism can become a form of literature in its own right.

Most literary criticism is written in the form of an essay, which is a piece of writing that makes an argument and that uses rhetorical devices, techniques intended to convince and persuade readers or members of an audience. The study of rhetoric first began in ancient Greece, and rhetoric is still an important foundation for writers of all genres today.
 
In this unit, you will encounter several examples of literary essays, which are intended to reinforce many of the concepts you learned in the previous units. You will also learn how to conduct a meta-analysis of literary criticism. In other words, you will learn how to analyze and critique the essays that critique literature.

Unit 5 Time Advisory
This unit should take approximately 16 hours to complete.

☐    Subunit 5.1: 2 hours

☐    Subunit 5.2: 12 hours

☐    Subunit 5.2.1: 4 hours

☐    Subunit 5.2.2: 3 hours

☐    Subunit 5.2.3: 3 hours

☐    Subunit 5.2.4: 2 hours

☐    Subunit 5.3: 2 hours

Unit5 Learning Outcomes
Upon successful completion of this unit, you will be able to: - explain the differences between a number of basic rhetorical forms and techniques; and - account for the ways in which the essay form employs rhetorical and persuasive techniques in the elaboration and deployment of an authorial agenda.

5.1 What Is Rhetoric?   5.1.1 Questions of Audience and Presupposition   - Reading: Stanford University: Dr. Andrea Lunsford’s “Some Definitions of Rhetoric”

Link: Stanford University: Dr. Andrea Lunsford’s [“Some Definitions
of
Rhetoric”](https://web.archive.org/web/20130825104402/http://www.stanford.edu/dept/english/courses/sites/lunsford/pages/defs.htm) (HTML)  

 Instructions: Read Dr. Lunsford’s completion of various definitions
of rhetoric.  

 Consider the following study questions: How do we use rhetoric
effectively in our daily lives? How have the literary pieces we have
read in this course used rhetoric to make points and tell stories?  

 Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use
displayed on the webpage above.

5.1.2 Rhetorical Strategies: Ethos, Pathos, Logos, and More   - Reading: California State University, Los Angeles: Dr. Jim Garrett’s version of Dr. John R. Edlund’s “Ethos, Logos, Pathos: Three Ways to Persuade” Link: California State University, Los Angeles: Dr. Jim Garrett’s version of Dr. John R. Edlund’s “Ethos, Logos, Pathos: Three Ways to Persuade” (HTML)

 Instructions: Read Dr. Garrett’s useful page explaining these
various rhetorical forms.  

 Consider the following study question: How did the literary texts
you have read in this course make use of ethos, logos, and pathos?  

 Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use
displayed on the webpage above.

5.1.3 How Texts Interact: Engaging with Discourse   - Reading: University of Illinois at Chicago: Gerald Graff’s They Say, I Say: “Introduction”

Link: University of Illinois at Chicago: Gerald Graff’s *They Say, I
Say*:
[“Introduction”](http://tigger.uic.edu/~ggraff/Gerald_Graff,_Ph.D./home.html) (PDF)  

 Instructions: Read Gerald Graff's introduction to *They Say, I
Say*, which can be found by following the link to Graff's home page
and clicking on the yellow circle that says  “read the introduction
here.” In the book,* *Graff claims that academic argument is a
dialogue in which the author recognizes what others are saying while
making space for his own thoughts in that discourse. It is a useful
introduction to the “academic moves” that experts make in crafting
their arguments.  

 Consider the following study question: According to Graff, how do
literary texts interact with each other?  

 Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use
displayed on the webpage above.

5.2 The Critical Essay   Note: In each of the following essays for this subunit, we will encounter a different critical approach to the same text, William Shakespeare’s Hamlet, which we read in Unit 4.  We will identify critical approaches, examine discursive practices, and attempt to evaluate the relative success of each.

5.2.1 Samuel Taylor Coleridge’s “Lectures and Notes on Shakespeare”   - Reading: Samuel Taylor Coleridge’s “Lectures and Notes on Shakespeare” Link: Samuel Taylor Coleridge’s “Lectures and Notes on Shakespeare” (HTML)

 Instructions: Read Coleridge’s lecture on *Hamlet.* The article
begins after the parenthetical remarks with the sentence that begins
“The seeming inconsistencies…” Coleridge was the romantic poet who
wrote “The Rime of the Ancient Mariner,” which you read earlier in
this course. He was also an influential literary critic. His
criticism often combines logical argument with an interest in his
own emotions, and those of the characters he studies.  

 Consider the following study questions: Coleridge is writing in
1818, well before the schools of literary criticism discussed in
Unit 3. Which schools of criticism do you think Coleridge
influenced? Why? What rhetorical strategies does Coleridge use? Do
you notice any similarities between the writing style used in The
Rime of the Ancient Mariner and the writing style of this essay?  

 Terms of Use: Please respect the copyrights and terms of use
displayed on the webpages above. “Lectures and Notes on Shakespeare”
is in the public domain.

5.2.2 Dr. R. Allen Shoaf’s “Hamlet: Like Mother, Like Son”   - Reading: University of Florida: Dr. R. Allen Shoaf’s “Hamlet: Like Mother, Like Son”

Link: University of Florida: Dr. R. Allen Shoaf’s [*“Hamlet*: Like
Mother, Like
Son”](http://www.saylor.org/site/wp-content/uploads/2011/02/Hamlet-and-Sons.pdf)
(PDF)  

 Instructions: Read Dr. Shoaf’s article on *Hamlet*.  

 Consider the following study questions: How does Dr. Shoaf
conceptualize the relationship between Hamlet and Gertrude? How
would you define this type of literary criticism? What rhetorical
strategies does Dr. Shoaf use?  

 Terms of Use: The linked material above has been reposted by the
kind permission of Dr. Shoaf, and can be viewed in its original form
[here](http://www.clas.ufl.edu/users/ras/shake/hamlet.pdf) (HTML).
Please note that this material is under copyright and cannot be
reproduced in any capacity without explicit permission from the
copyright holder.

5.2.3 Shakespeare and Public Discourse   - Reading: Dr. Anthony DiMatteo’s “Shakespeare and the Public Discourse of Sovereignty: ‘Reason of State’ in Hamlet Link: Dr. Anthony DiMatteo’s “Shakespeare and the Public Discourse of Sovereignty: ‘Reason of State’ in Hamlet” (HTML)

 Instructions: Read Dr. DiMatteo’s essay on Shakespeare’s
*Hamlet.*  

 Consider the following study questions: What point is Dr. DiMatteo
making here about politics in *Hamlet*? Does he view *Hamlet* as a
political play? What rhetorical devices does Dr. DiMatteo use? How
does this essay compare to the previous essays you have read in this
unit? Which argument did you find most convincing and why?  

 Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use
displayed on the webpage above.

5.3 Meta-Critical Essay   - Activity: Meta-Critical Essay Instructions: Print out and annotate Gerald Graff’s essay “They Say, I Say.” Then, choose one of the Hamlet essays you read in this unit and write a critique of that essay. Use the suggestions provided in the Graff article as a guide. Write a 1.5-page critical essay in which you critique one of the Hamlet essays you have read in this unit.