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Parrhesia

 

Techniques > Use of language > Figures of speech > Parrhesia

Method | Example | Discussion | See also

 

Description

Parrhesia is speaking boldly and candidly.

Example

It is true! The king has lost his mind and we must act to save the kingdom.

I have no idea what you are saying. You are talking nonsense, just to fill the space in front of you. 

Discussion

When a person speaks as if something is true or important, then others are more likely to believe them. In contrast, if we are hesitant and use uncertain language, then others are less likely to believe us.

When spoken well, then this is assertiveness, when done badly, it can seem like aggression.

Speaking freely requires either boldness or trust or both. In many societies there are many rules about 'saving face' for others and behaving with dignity. In others, speaking the truth can get you arrested.

In Greek, parrhesia means not only to speak freely, but also to speak boldly and even be obliged to tell truth for the common good. Courage is thus saying what must be said, even when it may be lead to personal harm.

Classification: Amplification

See also

Assertiveness, Assumption principle, Authority principle

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