This project aims at presenting the first translation to Portuguese of The Garden of Eloquence, a rhetorical handbook about figures of speech, dating 1577, by the British rector and priest Henry Peacham the Elder, with an introductory study. This study is based on the linguistic polemics of the XVI century on the reception of classical rhetoric by the Renaissance men and the Christian plain style described by them; besides, it demonstrates how this polemic appears in the educational context of the sixteenth-century, especially in Erasmus, whose work strongly influenced Peacham's writing. Thus, this research shows how paradoxically both styles coexist in the work: one that turns to classical authors in order to find the best models for imitation and another one which is based on the Christian sermo humilis. Some considerations on the didactic background of the time and Erasmus' influence upon the English manual are also set forth. The Garden of Eloquence explains 170 figures of speech with examples "gathered out of the most eloquent Orators and best approued authors, and chieflie out of the holie Scriptures", describing the correct use of each figure, commenting the cautions that must be taken when using them and that is considered one of the most important and complete rhetoric manuals of Renaissance England.
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