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judicial oratory  genus iudiciale
Branches of oratory:  |  judicial  |  deliberative  |  epideictic

Sometimes called "forensic" oratory, judical oratory originally had exclusively to do with the law courts and was oriented around the purposes of defending or accusing. The judicial orator made arguments about past events, and did so with respect to the special topics of invention described by Aristotle appropriate for this branch of oratory, the just and the injust (or the right and the wrong).

Sample rhetorical analysis in terms of JUDICIAL ORATORY:

In his famous speeches against Catiline, Cicero blatantly and forcefully accused Catiline of forming a conspiracy that would undermine republican Rome. Although speaking to the senate, he might as well have been speaking in a legal court, for he employed the methods and topics of judicial oratory, as though he were the prosecutor and Catiline the hapless defendant. Although Cicero lacked the solid evidence we would expect in today's courtroom, his dynamic summoning of witnesses (including the personified Rome herself!) secured popular sentiment against Catiline, and the conspirator fled the city

deliberative oratory 
Branches of oratory:  |  judicial  |  deliberative  |  epideictic

Sometimes called "legislative" oratory, deliberative oratory originally had exclusively to do with that sort of speaking typical of political legislatures. This oratory was oriented towards policy and thus considered future and whether given laws would benefit or harm society. Aristotle considered four special topics of invention to pertain to deliberative oratory: the good, the unworthy, the advantageous, and the disadvantageous. Deliberative oratory has come to encompass any communication for or against given future action.

Sample rhetorical analysis in terms of DELIBERATIVE ORATORY:

When Sir Thomas More was faced with the dilemma of deciding whether to sign the oath of loyalty to Henry VIII or to abstain and be charged with treason, he must have considered deeply the effects of either choice. Should he sign, he would save his life and his influential position as Lord Chancellor, thus saving himself to further influence his sovereign and his nation for good. Should he refuse to sign, he would probably die, but his death would serve the purpose of inspiring fidelity to the Church. His martyrdom would have the advantage of increasing piety. More must have so argued within himself, deliberating as though his mind were the parliament house, divided as to the best policy for his country. In the end he persuaded himself to allow himself to be martyred, and we are left to judge whether this did indeed prove to be an advantage or not. His example of moral backbone is generally regarded as his having succeeded in making the right choice. Still, we cannot know what More could have done should he have remained in the king's service longer.

epideictic oratory 
Branches of oratory:  |  judicial  |  deliberative  |  epideictic

The Greek epideictic means "fit for display." Thus, this branch of oratory is sometimes called "ceremonial" or "demonstrative" oratory. Epideictic oratory was oriented to public occasions calling for speech or writing in the here and now. Funeral orations are a typical example of epideictic oratory. The ends of epideictic included praise or blame, and thus the long history of encomia and invectives, in their various manifestations, can be understood in the tradition of epideictic oratory. Aristotle assigned "virtue (the noble)" and "vice (the base)" as those special topics of invention that pertained to epideictic oratory.

 Epideictic oratory was trained for in rhetorical pedagogy by way of progymnasmata exercises including the encomium and the vituperation.

Sample rhetorical analysis in terms of EPIDEICTIC ORATORY:

We can understand the dedicatory prefaces to early books and manuscripts as a species of epideictic oratory. Given the system of patronage that for so long made publication possible, one can understand the sometimes long-winded flattery of dedicatory epistles and prefaces. To praise a patron was to effect the possibility of obtaining sponsorship. One Renaissance entrepreneur inserted some 30 different dedicatory epistles into the front of different copies of his work, attempting to hedge his chances that this epideictic oratory would move at least one of his potential patrons, to whom he presented the copy.