William Shakespeare’s “Julius Caesar”
What is propaganda?
This is information, ideas, or rumors
deliberately spread widely to help or harm a
person, group, movement, institution,
nation, etc
– Think of the commercials you watch on tv, read
in a magazine, or listen to on the radio…all of
these have propaganda techniques that are
going to try to get you to buy that product
What is a Fallacy?
A fallacy is an argument that is
flawed by its very nature or
 Fallacies are not absolute
 Depending on context, some
fallacies can be appropriate to
certain situations
What are Structural Devices?
These are some of the literary devices we
will see in the play
– Rhetorical questions
– Antiphrasis which forms a good deal of casual
speech…example “That is one bad*** movie”
you are saying it is a good movie
– Asyndeton eliminates conjunctions in sentences
while still maintaining grammatical accuracy
Hasty Generalization
An inference drawn
from insufficient
– Four Arab
fundamentalists were
convicted in the bombing
of the WTC
– Arabs are nothing but a
pack of religious fanatics
prone to violence
Dicto Simpliciter
(Sweeping Generalization)
Making a
statement and
expecting it to be
true of every
specific case
– Stereotyping
Post Hoc Ergo Propter Hoc
After this, therefore because
of this)
Suggests that because B
follows A, A must cause B.
Remember, just because two
events or two sets of data are
related does not necessarily
mean that one caused the
other to happen.
It is important to evaluate
data carefully before jumping
to a wrong conclusion.
Ad Baculum
 Someone
to force or
threat of force
to try to push
others to accept
a conclusion
Ad Hominem
“To the man”
Assaulting a
rather then the
logic of his/her
Tu Quoque
“You, too!”
Argument, the arguer
points out that the
opponent has actually
done the thing he or
she is arguing against,
and so the opponent's
argument shouldn't be
listened to.
Ad Lazarum
Assumes that someone
who is poor is sounder or
more virtuous than
someone who is
Example: “Monks are
more likely to possess
insight into the meaning
of life, as they have given
up the distractions of
Ad Misericordiam
(Appeal to pity)
The appeal to pity
takes place when
an arguer tries to
get people to accept
a conclusion by
making them feel
sorry for someone.
Ad Populum
Means "to the people."
The arguer takes
advantage of the desire
most people have to be
liked and to fit in with
Uses that desire to try to
get the audience to
accept his or her
Ad Verecumdiam
(Appeal to Authority)
Referring to respected
sources or authorities
and explaining their
positions on the issues
being discussed.
Trying to get readers to
agree with us simply by
impressing them with a
famous name or by
appealing to a supposed
authority who really
isn't much of an expert
Non Sequitur
The logic of the
argument is not
Example: I stole the
lipstick because the
sky was blue.
Missing the Point
The premises of
an argument do
support a
conclusion, but
not the
conclusion that
the arguer
actually draws.
Slippery Slope
consequences for
small actions
Weak (False)Analogy
Comparisons that are inappropriate or
Appeal to Ignorance
In the appeal to ignorance,
the arguer basically says,
"Look, there's no
conclusive evidence on the
issue at hand.
Therefore, you should
accept my conclusion on
this issue.“
Example: "People have
been trying for centuries to
prove that God exists. But
no one has yet been able to
prove it. Therefore, God
does not exist."
Straw Man
Anticipate and respond in
advance to the arguments that
an opponent might make.
The arguer sets up a wimpy
version of the opponent's
position and tries to score
points by knocking it down.
But just as being able to knock
down a straw man, or a
scarecrow, isn't very impressive
Defeating a watered-down
version of your opponents'
argument isn't very impressive
Red Herring
Partway through an
argument, the arguer
goes off on a tangent,
raising a side issue that
distracts the audience
from what's really at
Often, the arguer never
returns to the original
False Dichotomy
The arguer sets up the
situation so it looks like there
are only two choices.
The arguer then eliminates
one of the choices, so it seems
that we are left with only one
option: the one the arguer
wanted us to pick in the first
But often there are really
many different options, not
just two—and if we thought
about them all, we might not
be so quick to pick the one the
arguer recommends!
Begging the Question
 Assuming
true the very
claim that is
A half-truth,
usually involving a
trick of language
 Example:
 “none of woman
born/shall harm
Technique is also called
"black-and-white thinking"
because only two choices
are given.
You are either for
something or against it;
there is no middle ground
or shades of gray.
It is used to polarize issues,
and negates all attempts to
find a common ground.
False Authority
Offering an authority as
sufficient warrant for
believing a claim
– X is true because I,
George Washington
say(s) it is
Propaganda Techniques
Name Calling
Attaching a negative label
to a person or a thing.
People engage in this type
of behavior when they are
trying to avoid supporting
their own opinion with
Rather than explain what
they believe in, they prefer
to try to tear their
opponent down.
Glittering Generalities
Uses important-sounding
"glad words" that have
little or no real meaning.
These words are used in
general statements that
cannot be proved or
Words like "good,"
"honest," "fair," and
"best" are examples of
"glad" words.
An attempt is made
to transfer the
prestige of a positive
symbol to a person
or an idea.
For example, using
the American flag as
a backdrop for a
political event makes
the implication that
the event is patriotic
in the best interest of
the U.S.
It is when "big name"
personalities are used to
endorse a product.
Whenever you see
someone famous
endorsing a product, ask
yourself how much that
person knows about the
product, and what he or
she stands to gain by
promoting it.
Plain Folks
Uses a folksy
approach to
convince us to
support someone
or something.
These ads depict
people with
ordinary looks
doing ordinary
Card Stacking
This term comes from
stacking a deck of cards in
your favor.
Card stacking is used to slant
a message.
Key words or unfavorable
statistics may be omitted in an
ad or commercial, leading to a
series of half-truths.
Keep in mind that an
advertiser is under no
obligation "to give the truth,
the whole truth, and nothing
but the truth."
Encourages you to
think that because
everyone else is
doing something,
you should do it too,
or you'll be left out.
The technique
embodies a "keeping
up with the Joneses"
Snob Appeal
 Arouses
desire to achieve
status or wealth
or to feel
Loaded Words
 Using
with strong
negative or
Source Documentation
Rhetorical Appeals Works Cited
Fallacies Works Cited
Works Consulted
Hurley, Patrick J. A Concise Introduction to Logic. Thornson
Learning, 2000
Lunsford, Andrea and John Ruszkiewicz. Everything's an
Argument. Bedford Books, 1998.
Copi, Irving M. and Carl Cohen. Introduction to Logic. Prentice
Hall, 1998.
Propaganda Works Cited