Protherapeia


Protherapeia (pro-ther-a-pei’-a): Preparing one’s audience for what one is about to say through conciliating words. If what is to come will be shocking, the figure is called prodiorthosis.

The world is fraught with change: from the beautiful blooms of breaking spring to the malevolent triumph of death over life, fear over hope, sorrow over joy, and eventually, perhaps, the triumph of indifference over everything.

Yet, the world is rich; and there are costs to pay–to pay for things that can be measured and weighed and priced according to supply and demand and intangible narratives of value–the words that sing them with poetries of luxury or mark them with hard-pressed deep-worn tracks of necessity.

Farther still, there must be wages earned to capture pleasures and to navigate ad hoc the uncharted urgencies of omnipresent necessity.

So, I must tell you.  I must warn you. Hear this and listen:

All that is valued and valuable, that exists and ceases to exist for better and for worse, cannot assuage your soul’s sickness: for yours is a soul immortally wounded; eternally falling for the promise of healing hailing it softly from nowhere as if it was Volition itself and not the sound of a storm drain endlessly flooding with the unbroken rush of the Saints’ wasted tears.

  • Post your own protherapeia on the “Comments” page!

Definition courtesy of “Silva Rhetoricae” (rhetoric.byu.edu).

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