Discussion questions:

a. Why does he start the pamphlet with the story about Caligula? What does the story mean and how can that meaning apply to what Gosson is trying to do?
b. Why does he say dancing, gymastics, cardplaying, gambling with dice, and fencing are bad? How are they alike and different?
c. Why does he choose a school as his unifying metaphor?
d. How does Gosson teach? Delight? Persuade?

Exercise:

Find each of the following seven rhetorical moves in Gosson’s School of Abuse excerpts (pages 1-11 and 32-37). This .pdf from the website Silva Rhetoricae is a useful addition resource: http://iws.collin.edu/grooms/cr2sp13quintq.pdf

  1. An opening anecdote (exordium)
  2. A description of his reason for writing, the occasion for his argument (narratio)
  3. A thesis – for instance, the theater has a detrimental effect upon society that can be curbed if his audience takes proper action (propositio)
  4. An analysis of the negative aspects of the hobby and a prediction of where they will eventually lead society (partitio)
  5. Evidence offered as proof of his claims (confirmatio)
  6. An acknowledgement of possible exceptions that anticipates likely arguments against his case (reprehensio or refutatio)
  7. A conclusion with an exhortation to take action (peroratio)
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