Journal directory listing - Volume 31-41 (1986-1996) - Volume 34 (1989)

The Rhetorical Skills of Laotze Author: Ju, Rong-Jyh


In spite of the fact that the word "beauty (美)" merely appears in five chapters of Lao tzu (老子), it is beyond doubt that Laotze is a pursuer of beauty. As shown in the elegance of its style and the loftiness of its poetic world. Lao tzu is a highly readable and informative book, no matter judged from its language or content. The "tao (道)" mentioned by Laotze refers to the origin of the universe. His probing into the implication of "wu (無)" or "being (有)" is profound and sometimes even abstruse. Had he not the necessary command of good writing skills and mastery of rhetoric, it would not be possible for Laotze to unravel in profound delicacy the mysteries of the universe, his life philosophy, and ideals of politics in only about five thousand words. In this paper, the present writer formulates and analyzes the fourteen kinds of rhetorical skills displayed in Lao tzu in order to demonstrate the great literary value of this book.

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