Mikhail Vasilievich Lomonosov was born in 1711 in a peasant family. Even in his youth, he mastered the basics of literacy, and at age 20 he went to Moscow to get an education. Soon the young man's successes in science were noticed, and he was invited to St. Petersburg, to the Academy of Sciences.
At that time, Western European culture reached its peak: rhetoric and oratory were developing , discoveries were made in various fields. Russia has successfully adopted foreign experience.
Lomonosov became an outstanding scientist. He was engaged in various scientific fields - from physics to philology. And in each of them he achieved success. The contribution of Lomonosov to the Russian language is invaluable. Further in the article we will tell about one of the main works of the scientist, about rhetoric.
Philological activity of Lomonosov
Mikhail Vasilievich conducted a large-scale work on the study of books on oratory. He studied the style of Russian prose, developed his own approaches to its development. Lomonosov’s contribution to the Russian language lies in the creation of a large-scale work intended for a wide range of readers — the Brief Guide to Rhetoric. This book was written in 1744.
I must say that the work "A Brief Guide to Rhetoric" by Lomonosov was not accepted by the scientific community. The fact is that at that time in Russia, only a few scientists dealt with the problems of eloquence.
However, the difficulties did not stop Lomonosov. “Rhetoric” was finalized by him and saw the light of 1747. It caused a wide resonance in the circle of major representatives of the culture of that era.
General characteristics of the "Rhetoric" of M. V. Lomonosov
In his book, the author reveals the key concepts of the Russian language. In particular, Lomonosov calls rhetoric a science that studies the beauty of written and spoken language.
The undoubted advantage of the scientist's work is the simplicity and accessibility of the presentation. Despite the fact that in his doctrine of eloquence the author cites the rules by which texts should be compiled for public speaking and fiction, it was very easy to understand them.
The work of M.V. Lomonosov is written on more than 300 pages. Retelling it is quite difficult. Note the main parts of the book:
- The rules of rhetoric.
- Requirements for the lecturer and speaker.
- Examples, including from poetry.
In his book on oratory, the scientist writes that all public speeches should be based on logic, spelled out correctly, in literary language. Each speaker must carefully compose a speech, reinforce his words with examples.
The scientist believed that any person is able to engage in the development of eloquence. Everyone can learn the art of a speaker.
Discoveries of Lomonosov in rhetoric and Russian grammar
Before Mikhail Vasilyevich, practically no one dealt with the problems of eloquence in Russia. In any case, no one tried to create either a textbook of rhetoric or any other practical guide.
Before the publication of this work, oratory, grammar, rhetoric was spoken only in manuscripts in Church Slavonic and Latin.
The scientist was the first to pay attention to the problems of compiling written and oral texts, affecting mainly public, religious, philosophical, and state topics.
In his textbook on rhetoric, the author identified several large blocks. The first is an oratorio, that is, recommendations and instructions for creating public speeches. The next block is, in fact, rhetoric. Lomonosov gives the general rules of eloquence regarding the creation of texts and fiction. Another block is about poetry. Here, the author sets out his vision of the process of composing poems and other rhymed works.
Elements of "Rhetoric"
This block includes three parts:
- "About the invention."
- "On the decoration."
- "About the location."
The method of constructing the structure of the book Lomonosov explains as follows. The author says that rhetoric is a science that studies eloquence in general. In this science, he sees the rules of three kinds: "The first show how to invent it, what should be spoken about the proposed matter; the others teach how to decorate the invention; the third teach how to arrange it, and therefore rhetoric is divided into three parts - into invention, decoration and layout. "
The key theoretical aspects of the rhetoric of Lomonosov are reinforced by quotes from the works of famous ancient Greek and Roman writers, authors of the Middle Ages, and modern times. In addition, the scientist cites many of his own examples, including poetic ones.
Public Speaking Rules
The work of Lomonosov contains the author’s thoughts about the lecturer's abilities, his behavior in front of an audience. Highlight key recommendations on public speaking.
According to Lomonosov, the speech of the speaker / lecturer should be correctly written, logically stated. It should use literary revolutions. It is necessary not only to carefully select the text, but also to correctly position its elements. As for the examples confirming the speaker’s thoughts, they should not be random. They should also be selected and prepared in advance.
Lomonosov makes the following recommendations to the speaker:
- In a detailed description of the elements of the subject, its properties, various circumstances, events, etc., it is necessary to use the "chosen words" and avoid the "very vile" ones, since they level the importance and strength of even the best performance. Simply put, you should speak competently, do not use words that carry negative emotions.
- Good thoughts and ideas should be discussed first, in the middle - those that are better, and at the very end of the speech, the best ones should be stated so that the audience immediately feels the power and importance of speech, which will increase towards the end.
The emotional component of the performance
Separately, Lomonosov considers in his book the question of how to arouse certain feelings in the audience: hatred and love, fear and joy, anger and complacency. The author rightly believed that the impact of emotions can be stronger than the strict logical construction of words.
Lomonosov said that despite the fact that the arguments may indicate the validity of certain conclusions, the speaker needs to arouse interest in the audience. Often, the best evidence is not strong enough to incline the audience toward the speaker. In such cases, the emotionally colored appeal of the audience may be the speaker’s best assistant.
"Passion for the topic"
In order to interest listeners, the speaker needs to understand the mores and characters of people, to understand from which idea or idea the passion for the topic is excited. As Lomonosov writes: "Explore through moralizing the depths of human hearts."
The scientist called passion strong sensual "hunting or reluctance." Excitement and quenching of passions is associated with:
- the state of the speaker;
- the state of the audience;
- by the power and effect of eloquence.
According to Lomonosov, the listeners can be interested in a kind-hearted, conscientious person, and not a crafty and frivolous one who enjoys the love of people. It is important that the speaker himself is genuinely interested in the topic.
In addition, the speaker should take into account gender, age, education, upbringing of listeners and many other points.
Before pronouncing the word, the speaker should bring it into line with the topic. This means that the sound of the voice must be consistent with the content of speech. For this, the speaker must learn to control the timbre, tone (raise or lower it). In other words, good news must be carried with joy, sad news - with sadness. If the speaker’s speech expresses a petition, then the voice must be made “touching”. High words should be pronounced proudly, with pathos, angry - in an angry tone.
The author warns the speaker against too fast or lingering speech. In the first case, the audience will not understand what it is about, and in the second it will become boring.
"Decoration" of speech
According to the author, it consists in the purity of style, the smooth flow of words, the power and splendor of phrases. Purity of style depends on the level of knowledge of the language. To improve it, you need to read more good books, communicate with literate, educated people.
Speaking about the "fluency of the word", Lomonosov recommends paying attention to the number of words in the sentence, the alternation of stresses. The author advises influencing listeners with each letter or a combination of both. The speaker’s speech should contain allegories, hyperbole, sayings, proverbs, metaphors, winged expressions or quotes from famous works. However, Lomonosov urges not to forget about the measure in the use of art forms.
Mikhail Vasilyevich devoted a separate part of the book to the placement of ideas and parts of the material. The author recommends arranging the elements of the text in such a way that, as a whole, the speech impresses the audience properly.
There is no benefit, according to the scientist, in a huge number of ideas, if they are not systematic. Immediately, the author gives an association with the art of war. “The art of a brave leader,” writes Lomonosov, “consists not only in the choice of courageous and kind warriors, but also no less depends on a decent establishment of regiments.” The author explains this with numerous examples.
The success of the Lomonosov orator
Contemporaries of the scientist admired his abilities. Lomonosov successfully used his recommendations in his speeches. The talent of the rhetorician was recognized not only by the friends of the scientist, but also by his enemies. So, for example, Schumacher once wrote: “I very much wish that Lomonosov did not deliver a speech at the next solemn meeting, but I don’t know that between our academicians. He should be brave and in some way impudent. Do we have anyone else at the Academy, who would surpass him in that capacity? " Hostility is clearly visible in the phrase, but involuntary admiration for Lomonosov’s oratorical abilities is also visible.
The scientist's speeches were very popular - there were always a huge number of students at lectures and speeches. As NI Novikov (the famous Russian enlightener) recalled, Lomonosov’s syllable was distinguished by its hardness, purity, and volume. At the same time, the author notes, the scientist’s temper was cheerful: he always spoke witty, shortly, often joked.
An example of the success of the Lomonosov orator is his presentation with the “Word on the Benefits of Chemistry”. The scientist had an amazing ability to interestingly, figuratively talk about scientific achievements, in an accessible language to explain previously unknown things and processes. With the "Word on the Benefits of Chemistry" Lomonosov spoke at a public meeting of the Academy of Sciences in 1751. It began with the fact that the author speaks with admiration about people who benefit society by "pleasing and immaculate labors." It is mainly about scientists, for whom the process of cognition is a useful and enjoyable exercise. Lomonosov considered the “Teaching” to be a way of discovering the beauty of things, the differences in actions, and properties. A man enriched with knowledge, the scientist believed, would not offend anyone by acquiring "an inexhaustible and belonging to all treasure."
Mikhail Vasilyevich always focused on the benefits of cognition. He said that everyone should acquire knowledge, since an educated person differs from an ignorant only for the better. Lomonosov urged everyone to study. In support of his words, the scientist immediately gives examples. For example, he compares two people, one of whom is only able to name all the objects and phenomena that are in his field of vision. Another, more educated, is able not only to name them, but also to explain their features and properties. Moreover, a competent person "and our senses are not subject to concepts clearly and vividly depicts the word." One, for example, does not know how to count on fingers, and the other determines the value without special devices, calculates large distances not only on the earth, but also in the sky. Based on the examples, the scientist immediately concludes: "Is it not clear that one is set above mortal lots, the other hardly differs from wordless animals?" Lomonosov believes that an educated person is not discouraged, because knowledge pleases him. The uneducated individual lives in the "dark night of ignorance."
Lomonosov is rightly called the "father of Russian eloquence." Mikhail Vasilievich really was a unique, highly educated person. He always sought to gain new knowledge, used every opportunity for this.
The scientist had a great influence on his years in Germany. In 1736 he went there to study. After 4 years, he went to travel in Germany. In 1745, Lomonosov returned to Russia and began teaching. In parallel, the scientist worked on his "Rhetoric" and other books.
The successes of Lomonosov in the sciences were so great that in 1764 he was personally visited by Catherine II.
All the books of the scientist, all his scientific activities were aimed at improving life in Russia. After all, he himself was from a family of peasants and knew firsthand about the literacy level of the common people. Lomonosov sought to instill a love of education, the knowledge of all students of his lectures. His contribution to the development of domestic sciences is undoubtedly invaluable. Many of the rules and recommendations that Lomonosov developed can and should even be applied today. They are especially relevant for those people whose activities are associated with communication, including leaders and members of political parties, business leaders, service workers and other economic sectors.