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© 2019 Walter de Gruyter GmbH, Berlin/Munich/Boston
Figures of Speech (= FSP) can be briefly defined as “output of discourse strategies for creating communicatively adequate texts”1 and have been one of the main branches of rhetoric since its beginnings in antiquity. At the same time FSP have also come under severe criticism (for formalism, lack of system and artificiality). In the following sections, we present an outline of different ancient and contemporary attempts to define and classify FSP. Then we take a look at the roles of FSP in political rhetoric and their persuasive impact. Finally, we introduce a selection of FSP typically used in political speeches, providing significant examples.