On the Good Life - Chapter 4: On the Orator Summary & Analysis

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On the Orator is the longest work of the book. It concerns the role of the 'orator' or statesman, not merely a speaker. Cicero is known as one of the great orators of history, and the dialogue concerns a debate between Lucius Licinius Crassus, his teacher, who at his time had no superior, and Marcus Antonius Orator, another prominent orator and Crassus's competitor. The debate concerns the sort of thing that oratory is and what subjects the greater orator must master.

Oratory was a high art form in the ancient world. It required not merely speaking well, but knowing many subjects such as speech writing, proper gesturing, vocal control, literary references, emotional tone and memorization. Many of the great Greek and Roman thinkers thought about the skill of oratory and rhetoric. Cicero is no exception.

Cicero argues that this...

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This section contains 1,406 words
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