When we ask someone something, what we usually do is challenge the person in question with the objective of giving us a answer With the information we are looking for. In this way, we can ask where an address is or what time it is, to name two frequently asked questions.
There are questions , however, that are done without waiting for a answer . It is the so-called Rhetorical questions , which may not even have a specific recipient.
These questions can be considered as a Literary figure or a expressive resource . Unlike the rest of the questions, which aim to obtain data from the interlocutor, the rhetorical questions try to get the listener to reflect on an issue or to adopt a change in their conduct .
Suppose a young man tells a friend that he plans to cross an avenue with his eyes closed to make a joke. Upon hearing the idea, the other boy asks: "Are you crazy?". This question does not wait for an answer, but tries to get the other person's attention so that change of seeming.
Rhetorical questions are frequent in links in which there is a authority and a subordinate . A teacher can thus ask a student: "How do I have to ask you to be quiet while I teach?". Another possibility is that the mother interrogates her son: "In what language should I speak to you so you can listen to me?".
It should be noted that rhetorical questions can even be self questioning : "What happens to me today?", "Why do I make the same mistake again?". In addition, the rhetorical question, which is also known by the name of erotema, is a figure which may contain the answer itself, or be used to know that it is not possible to find an accurate or satisfactory answer.
One of the uses of the rhetorical question revolves around emphasizing a feeling or a idea, and many authors of various literary genres, if not all, have taken advantage and continue to take advantage of this resource to intensify their works and give them more depth, to generate an open door that the reader should explore, even if it does not lead to a specific point.
Let's look at some of the rhetorical questions that have appeared in works of writers and writers of great recognition throughout the history: "Why this restless, burning desire?", of the poem "To Jarifa, in an orgy"by José de Espronceda; "Will you be, love a long goodbye that never ends?", of the poem "Will you be, love ...?", by Pedro Salinas; "Where does green joy if a bad wind turns it black?"by Rafael Alberti; "Who can get me out of this my cruel moment that I can barely stop for having a dead body?", of the poem "Dying inside"by Claudia Prado.
A clear difference that can be seen between a rhetorical question used in the field of poetry and one belonging to everyday speech is that the first one can contain several carefully interwoven ideas, or that arise without fear from the deepest part of the soul and raise endless new questions, which make the question a starting point for introspection, while the second one usually focuses on a well-defined problem and is generally issued in the form of a complaint or regret that is easy to understand, but not to solve.
On the other hand, since the art of writing arises from an exploration of one's feelings and experiences, the rhetorical question as a figure used in a literary work is more likely to find an answer, or at least to focus on it, while the daily "Because everything happens to me?", which should be answered with a single"because you are not responsible", "because you get together with the wrong people"or"because you leave everything for the last moment", for example, seems to repeat itself eternally for the lack of reflection more and more typical of the human being.