epiplexis


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Noun1.epiplexis - a rhetorical device in which the speaker reproaches the audience in order to incite or convince them
rhetorical device - a use of language that creates a literary effect (but often without regard for literal significance)
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The speech also recalls a related device, epiplexis, defined as 'asking questions in order to reproach or upbraid'.
Typically, a rhetorical question is asked not to elicit information but to express emotion, as with erotesis (implying strong affirmation or denial) and epiplexis (to chastise).
Alternatively, if the professor's epiplexis were rather more oblique, recalling, say, a couple of lines from Beowulf, the conditions for uptake would not be reasonable: a child can hardly be expected to catch an allusion to "Grendles modor / ides aglaec-wif.