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Rhetoric is the art of persuasion, whether spoken or written. In the first chapter of Rhetoric: Readings in French Literature, Michael Hawcroft sets out its principles comprehensively and lucidly, providing an easily-consulted outline of key terms and a wide range of illustrative examples. Subsequent chapters explore rhetoric at work in different genres, via close reading of texts which range from the drama of Moliere, Racine, and Beckett; Montaigne, Sevigne, and Gide on the self; the prose fiction of Laclos, Zola, and Sarraute; poetry by D'Aubigne, Baudelaire, and Cesaire; and the oratory of de Gaulle and Yourcenar. Rhetorical analysis uncovers subtleties and complexities in texts which emerge as exciting dramas of communication. This is at once a handbook of rhetoric and a guide to its application to French texts from the sixteenth century to the present.