Writing Styles in Enlightenment

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Over the course of the Enlightenment, there existed two clearly opposing schools of thought concerning rhetoric. The traditions of the Renaissance, largely influenced by the works of Peter Ramus, held over into the early part of the movement. Ramus attacked Aristotle's view that rhetoric and dialect should be integrated, indicating that, though they may have been used in conjunction in the past, they should be disengaged. Ramus advocated a linear style, bereft of embellishment, so that scientific and philosophical writings might be better representations of truth. This straightforward approach adhered naturally to the rational thought and methodical observation promoted by the Enlightenment. However, while this rhetorical convention was becoming less popular, another was quickly gaining ground.

Near the end of the Enlightenment, the Belletristic Movement was in full swing. Works like Lectures on Rhetoric and Belles Lettres (1783), by Hugh Blair, and Philosophy of Rhetoric (1776), by George Campbell, were...

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Literary Movements for Students
Enlightenment from Literary Movements for Students. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.
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