Rhetoric's Questions, Reading and Interpretation

  • Peter Mack

Part of the Early Modern Literature in History book series (EMLH)

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xiii
  2. Peter Mack
    Pages 1-6
  3. Peter Mack
    Pages 7-18
  4. Peter Mack
    Pages 19-29
  5. Peter Mack
    Pages 31-39
  6. Peter Mack
    Pages 41-54
  7. Peter Mack
    Pages 55-69
  8. Peter Mack
    Pages 71-92
  9. Peter Mack
    Pages 93-103
  10. Back Matter
    Pages 105-112

About this book


This book aims to help readers interpret, and reflect on, their reading more effectively. It presents doctrines of ancient and renaissance rhetoric (an education in how to write well) as questions or categories for interpreting one’s reading. The first chapter presents the questions. Later chapters use rhetorical theory to bring out the implications of, and suggest possible answers to, the questions: about occasion and audience (chapter 2), structure and disposition (3), narrative (4), argument (5), further elements of content, such as descriptions, comparisons, proverbs and moral axioms, dialogue, and examples (6), and style (7). Chapter eight describes ways of gathering material, formulating arguments and writing about the texts one reads. The conclusion considers the wider implications of taking a rhetorical approach to reading. The investigation of rhetoric’s questions is interspersed with analyses of texts by Chaucer, Sidney, Shakespeare, Fielding and Rushdie, using the questions. The text is intended for university students of literature, especially English literature, and rhetoric, and their teachers. 


Renaissance Rhetorical theory Audience Occasion Structure Disposition Narrative Argument Humour Examples Maxims Comparisons Descriptions

Authors and affiliations

  • Peter Mack
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of English and Comparative Literary StudiesUniversity of WarwickCoventryUnited Kingdom

Bibliographic information