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  This section contains a compendium of 200+ brief audio and video clips illustrating 40 different figures of speech.

Most of these figures were constructed, identified, and classified by Greek and Roman teachers of rhetoric in the Classical period.

For each rhetorical device, definitions and examples (text, audio, video) are provided. Audio and video examples are taken from public speeches and sermons, movies, songs, lectures, oral interpretations of literature, and other media events.

Some artifacts have been edited further to make the devices easier to detect. In the interest of diversity, a range of voices and perspectives is included.



Top 10



Read, Listen, Watch to the Entire Figure

C.S. Lewis: "Mr. Whistler is asleep.  Now, from that action, I take it that he has no interest in what I have to say. The puzzle is, that being the case, why is he here at all? So, we construct a plot from Mr. Whistler's actions: he comes, he sleeps. Now, Aristotle would say that the next question is not why, but what is Mr. Whistler going to do next? [Mr. Whistler wakes up.] Good morning, Mr. Whistler. My class is not compulsory, neither are my chairs very comfortable."

Peter Whistler: "Alright, I'm going."

C.S. Lewis: "Thank you. He comes, he sleeps, he goes. So the plot thickens...."


Raymond Reddington: "Perhaps you're familiar with the old saw, "You can't beat the house." No matter how many poor souls you turn into popsicles, the fix is in. The world in which you awaken will be one incapable of sustaining human life. And why? Because at the critical tipping point,  one tragically quixotic, megalomaniac cannibalized humanity of the very minds that might have been its salvation. You see, if you were a betting man, you would understand that now trumps later, every time. The futureís a suckerís bet. A maybe. A contingency. A what-if. The only thing that is real is the present...."