William Hazlitt

Rhetorical Analysis of William Hazlitt
In Lectures on the English Comic Writers, William Hazlitt discovers that life is comprised primarily of two components: tragedy and comedy. We find that most of our emotions fall into the category of either laughter or tears in situations. Hazlitt enthusiastically examines and articulates the role of comedy and tragedy in life in his prose as he addresses all types of readers.
Hazlitt’s profound moment of discovering the foundation of life to be comedy and tragedy is accurately portrayed through his style of writing. Through varied sentences of commas, semicolons, and exclamation points, Hazlitt portrays that it is a magnificent thing to have noticed. By stating, “It is in a manner compounded of these two!” and “Which discomposes our gravity as often as it fails to move our anger or our pity!”, Hazlitt is clearly very excited. In addition, the combination of commas and semicolons sets a quick pace, such as how one would speak if in excitement. In the opening paragraph, Hazlitt utilizes parallelism, “We weep… we laugh… we shed… we burst,” in order to emphasize the emotions that we feel dealing strictly with comedy and tragedy. With such techniques, Hazlitt delivers his message that life is indeed a blend of comedy or tragedy.
Hazlitt’s thrilled and eager tone set the stage for his essay. Just as he is eager and willing to announce his discovery, he is thrilled to have found it in the first place. Hazlitt describes through excitement that “we receive pleasure instead of pain” which indicates that “if everything went wrong” we would still laugh and cry. Hazlitt persuades the readers that there are indeed two emotions to life.
Hazlitt’s point of view is very interesting and much discussed. Life revolving around two aspects, comedy and tragedy, may seem appalling, but very true. With correct and persuading evidence, Hazlitt describes that “we laugh at what disappoints our expectations… we shed tears from sympathy… we burst...