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In classical rhetoric, a peroration is the final part of a speech. It is one of the six traditional components in the dispositio of a speech.

The peroration had two main purposes: to remind the audience of the main points of the speech (recapitulatio) and to influence their emotions (affectus). The role of the peroration was defined by Greek writers on rhetoric, who called it epilogos; but it is most often associated with Roman orators, who made frequent use of emotional appeals. A famous example was the speech of Marcus Antonius in defence of Aquillius, during which Antonius tore open the tunic of Aquillius to reveal his battle scars.[1]

In the first century B.C. it was common for two or more speakers to appear on each side in major court cases. In such cases it was considered a mark of honour to be asked to deliver the peroration.[2]


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