David Cutcliffe’s Pre Game Speech Applying Cicero’s Five Cannons of Rhetoric
The five canons of rhetoric, first introduced in Cicero’s, “De Oratore,” are important in the organization and prowess of oral or written forms of rhetoric, along with being demanding for the success of speeches and presentations. Cicero’s five cannons can be applied to the rhetorical situation surrounding the pre game speech given by Duke’s Head football coach, David Cutcliffe. Coach Cutcliffe was inspiring his team with an arousing speech before they took the field against the University of the Cincinnati Bearcats in the Belk Bowl of 2012 (ACC Digital Network, 2012). Cutcliffe’s use of the five cannons of rhetoric, presented by Cicero: invention, arrangement, style, memory, and delivery are crucial to the make-up and impact the speech had for his players. According to the reading, “De Oratore,” good speakers need to have a grasp of knowledge in order to pass on what they are saying to their audience or listeners. Essentially, the five cannons of rhetoric bring an understanding and knowledge to every speech or presentation. They allow this text, “De Oratore,” to use an individual’s perspective to determine the value of whether Coach Cutcliffe’s speech uses all five of Cicero’s cannons while utilizing ethos, pathos, or logos.
Duke is not formally known for its football, but rather its exceptional basketball team. After a long road of rebuilding the program’s football team, the players, along with Coach Cutcliffe get a chance to, after a winning season, represent their school in the Belk Bowl vs. the University of the Cincinnati Bearcats (ACC Digital Network, 2012). It is custom for the head football coach of a team to give an inspiring pre game “pump-up” speech to his players to get them inspired, and ready to go out and play against their opponent. Cutcliffe’s stage for the speech he prepared for his young college players happens to be in the locker room where the players get dressed in their football gear. These speeches are important because they reiterate and inform the players about the important parts of the game plan they have to follow in order to win. It also motivates them to succeed at doing this. Therefore, the five cannons of rhetoric play are an important component when Coach Cutcliffe is giving the pre game speech to his players before the big bowl game in the locker room.
The concept of the five cannons of rhetoric is the mitigating factor underneath Cicero’s text, in which his text, “De Oratore,” is thought to be a public art associated with the art of practical politics (Cicero, 1971). Cicero argued that the best orator is the one who is able to stir all the emotions of his/her audience of listeners. To lie out such an argument, the orator must follow the five cannons of rhetoric presented by Cicero: invention, arrangement, style, memory, and delivery.
The first factor of the five cannons of rhetoric presented by Cicero in,...