A statement used to prepare the speaker's audience for bad news. This is part of the branch of rhetoric classified as exordium, the introduction of a speech.

From the Greek pro- meaning 'before' and diorthosis, meaning 'putting right'.

See also, protherapeia.

Examples of this:

"Season your admiration for a while With an attent ear, till I may deliver, Upon the witness of these gentlemen, This marvel to you."
-- Hamlet

"Ye men of Athens, I perceive that in all things ye are very religious..."
-- Paul, Acts 17:22

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