How important was the rhetorical context of Cicero’s orations: his listeners’ fear of Catiline’s conspiracy and army?
I imagine it was very important to Cicero’s case, seeing as he would probably get more people on his side if he asked rhetorical questions. If you a have speech with questions, people can poke holes in it when you give them an opportunity to answer. However, if you ask rhetorical questions, you never give people the chance to answer. Therefore, when no one speaks their minds, people assume everyone else agrees with your statements. Therefore, people will go with what the crowd thinks. Therefore, you will be seen as right no matter how wrong you are.
English 2: 65