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θεωρὸν ἢ κριτήν] This classification of the different kinds of ‘audience’ is made for the purpose of determining the divisions of Rhetoric; because, the audience being the end and object of the speech, that to which every speech is ultimately referred, and everything being defined or determined by its end (τέλος, Eth. Nic. III 10, 1115 b 23), the number of the varieties of audiences must fix the number of the divisions or branches of Rhetoric. Audiences are of two kinds; either mere ‘spectators’, like the θεαταί in a theatre, at the games, or in any exhibition where amusement is the object, or at all events where there is no interest of a practical character or tendency1; or else ‘judges’, where some real interest is at stake, and they are called upon to pronounce a decision (pars negotialis, πραγματική Quint.). But these decisions, and those who pronounce them, again fall into two classes, according as they are referred to questions, (1) of political expediency and look to the future, or (2) of right or wrong in respect of past acts or facts. So that we have three kinds of audiences, and consequently three branches of Rhetoric. The public or national assembly, to which the deliberative kind of rhetoric is addressed; the law-courts and their ‘judges’, properly so called, the object of the forensic or judicial branch of the art; and thirdly the ‘spectators’, those who go to be amused or interested by the show-speeches, or ἐπιδείξεις, the Panegyrics (in two senses), funeral orations, burlesques, or whatever other form may be taken by speeches composed merely to display skill in composition without practical interest (where the δύναμις, the faculty, or skill shewn, is only in question); or, if they please, to criticise them, and so become ‘critics’. The term κριτής, ‘judge’, which belongs properly only to the second of the three branches, may also be extended to the other two, since they all have to ‘decide’ in some sense, to choose between opposite views, either on questions of expediency in matters of state, or right and wrong in legal questions, or the merits of a composition as ‘critics’. Comp. II 18, 1, III 12, 5, and also Rhet. ad Alex. c. 18 (19), 14, where (comp. § 10) κριταί seems to be used in this general sense for all kinds of ἀκροαταί.
1 Thuc. III. 38 (Cleon to the Athenian assembly), αἴτιοι δ᾽ ὑμεῖς κακῶς ἀγωνοθετοῦντες, οἵτινες εἰώθατε θεαταὶ μὲν τῶν λόγων γίγνεσθαι, ἀκροαταὶ δὲ τῶν ἔργων, κ.τ.λ. “You go to the public assembly as you go to the theatre, merely in quest of intellectual excitement. You go as θεαταί or θεωροί, that is, merely for your amusement; and not as κριταί, that is, carefully weighing the matter of what is said, in order to adopt it in your practice or reject it.” Arnold.
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