Quintilian's influence on Obadiah Walker Public Deposited

http://ir.library.oregonstate.edu/concern/graduate_thesis_or_dissertations/rf55zc972

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  • The nature and extent of classical rhetoric's influence on subsequent ages has been the focus of much recent study. Scholars have been concerned with how classical authors, particularly Cicero and Quintilian, emerged in educational and rhetorical theories of the Middle Ages, the Renaissance, and later centuries. Despite this flurry of research, a great deal of Quintilian's enduring legacy remains unknown, particularly in seventeenth-century England. "Quintilian's Influence on Obadiah Walker," then, extends our knowledge of Quintilian's influence into the seventeenth century by looking at one seventeenth-century thinker in particular, Obadiah Walker. More specifically, this thesis compares and analyzes the authors' primary works: Quintilian's Institutio oratoria and Walker's Some Instructions Concerning the Art of Oratory and Of Education, Especially of Young Gentlemen. This study investigates Quintilian's and Walker's similarities and differences within three comparable areas: their educational systems, their theories and placement of rhetoric in their systems, and their educational purposes. Within these areas, this study questions how and to what extent did Walker appropriate Quintilian's ideas when crafting his two educational/rhetorical treatises? The comparison of the primary texts manifests some specific and general conclusions. There are two specific conclusions. First, Walker is heavily indebted to Quintilian; he liberally adopts and modifies Quintilian's ideas in nearly every facet of his works. Second, Walker offers a seventeenth-century student a digest and modern version of Quintilian's Institutio. Moreover, this study offers some general conclusions. First, it demonstrates that Quintilian's influence extends into the late seventeenth century, at least in the works of one writer of the era. Next, it argues that if Quintilian's treatise lost favor, at least it did not do so completely. And finally, it contributes another story to classical rhetoric's incomplete history.
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