Rhetoric is a discourse art aimed at improving the capability of speakers or writers that attempt to persuade, motivate or inform a particular audience, in a specific situation. In its vigorous and long history, rhetoric has enjoyed many definitions. It has accommodated conflicting purposes, and varied extensively in what it incorporated. However, it still maintains its primary character as a subject for educating students. It helps students to recognize how language, whether in writing or orally, is at work. Second, it helps students to become skillful and apply the skills learnt in their own writing and speaking. The basis of the rhetorical theory is on available persuasion means. This is to say that speakers who want to persuade their audience have to keep in mind three rhetorical proofs namely logical, ethical and emotional proofs. Effective persuasion also requires rhetorical syllogism and an audience to supply the missing speech pieces. The theory has developed over time with the classical theorists and the contemporary theorists contributing immensely (Bitzer, 1968).
The Daily Show is an American satirical show that airs late at night on Mondays through Thursday. It airs on Comedy Central for half an hour. The show premiered in 1996 with Craig Kilborn as the host, but John Stewart took over in 1999. Stewart focused the show more strongly on politics and national media. Initially, it focused on pop culture. It is a program with fake news drawing its satire and comedy from political figures, recent news stories, media organizations and even some show’s aspects. It usually starts with a monologue from the host relating to the recent headlines. It also features exchanges with correspondents frequently. They then adopt humorously exaggerated or absurd takes on these current events contrasting Stewart’s persona of a straight man. The Daily Show exhibits the rhetorical theory in many ways. This paper gives the analysis of the show by rhetorical theorists, each having their own view.
Classical Rhetorical Theorists (Plato and Aristotle)
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