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Rhetorical Analysis of Speeches

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1 Rhetorical Analysis of Speeches
Barbara Tollison San Marcos High School AS2, ELA

2 What is Rhetoric? Some Famous Definitions
Plato: [Rhetoric] is the “art of enchanting the soul.” (The art of winning the soul by discourse.) Aristotle: Rhetoric is “the faculty of discovering in any particular case all of the available means of persuasion.” Cicero: “Rhetoric is one great art comprised of five lesser arts: inventio, dispositio, elocutio, memoria, and pronunciatio.” Rhetoric is “speech designed to persuade.”

3 What is Rhetoric? Some Famous Definitions
Quintilian: “Rhetoric is the art of speaking well.” Francis Bacon: “The duty and office of rhetoric is to apply reason to imagination for the better moving of the will.” George Campbell: [Rhetoric] is “that art or talent by which discourse is adapted to its end. The four ends of discourse are to enlighten the understanding, please the imagination, move the passion, and influence the will.”

4 Common Rhetorical Devices
Repetition of a word or phrase at the beginning (anaphora) or end (antistrophe) of successive phrases, clauses or lines. "We shall not flag or fail. We shall go on to the end. We shall fight in France, we shall fight on the seas and oceans, we shall fight with growing confidence and growing strength in the air, we shall defend our island, whatever the cost may be, we shall fight on the beaches, we shall fight on the landing grounds, we shall fight in the fields and in the streets, we shall fight in the hills. We shall never surrender.“ British Prime Minister Winston Churchill

5 Anaphora repetition of the beginnings of phrases, clauses or sentences)
“Now is the time to help families with paid sick days and better family leave Now is the time to change our bankruptcy laws Now is the time to keep the promise of equal pay for an equal day's work.” Democratic nomination acceptance, Barak Obama

6 ANTISTROPHE – repetition of the ending of successive clauses or sentences
"In 1931, ten years ago, Japan invaded Manchukuo -- without warning. In 1935, Italy invaded Ethiopia -- without warning. In 1938, Hitler occupied Austria -- without warning. In 1939, Hitler invaded Czechoslovakia -- without warning. Later in 1939, Hitler invaded Poland -- without warning. And now Japan has attacked Malaya and Thailand -- and the United States -- without warning.” Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s announcement of the attack on Pearl Harbor

7 Common Rhetorical Devices
Restatement (Tautology): repetition of an idea in a different word, phrase, or sentence. "With malice toward none, with charity for all."         President Abraham Lincoln, Second Inaugural

8 Common Rhetorical Devices
Asyndeton: lack of conjunctions between coordinate phrases, clauses, or words. "We shall pay any price, bear any burden, meet any hardships, support any friend, oppose any foe to assure the survival and the success of liberty."      J. F. Kennedy, Inaugural   "But, in a larger sense, we cannot dedicate, we cannot consecrate, we cannot hallow this ground."              President Abraham Lincoln, Gettysburg Address

9 Common Rhetorical Devices
Parallelism is repeated grammatical forms. Several parts of a sentence or several sentences are expressed similarly to show that the ideas in the parts or sentences are equal in importance. For example, parallelism can repeat the verb+ing, or verb+ed form, or have several adverbs using –ly.

10 (PARALLELISM) “…we shall pay any price, bear any burden, meet any hardship, support any friend, oppose any foe…” inaugural address, John F. Kennedy

11 Rhetorical Questions A rhetorical question is a figure of speech in the form of a question posed for its persuasive effect without the expectation of a reply (e.g.: "Why me?") Rhetorical questions encourage the listener to think about what the (often obvious) answer to the question must be. When a speaker states, "How much longer must our people endure this injustice?", no formal answer is expected. Rather, it is a device used by the speaker to assert or deny something.

12 Famous Rhetorical Questions
In William Shakespeare’s The Merchant of Venice, the character Shylock uses rhetorical questions to point out that Jewish people are like non-Jews and therefore should not be treated with discrimination: Hath not a Jew eyes? hath not a Jew hands, organs, dimensions, senses, affections, passions? If you prick us, do we not bleed? if you tickle us, do we not laugh? if you poison us, do we not die? And if you wrong us, shall we not revenge? Act III, scene i : lines 55 – 63

13 Speeches to Study For this series of activities, you will analyze and compare the structure and content of : "I Have a Dream," by Martin Luther King Jr. "Gettysburg Address" by Abraham Lincoln “inaugural address” of John F. Kennedy “Blood, Toil, Tears and Sweat” by Winston Churchill A primary goal here is to help the students see the common structural and figurative threads that tie together many famous oratorical works.

14 Irony Irony: expression of something which is contrary to the intended meaning; the words say one thing but mean another.   *Yet Brutus says he was ambitious; And Brutus is an honourable man.         Shakespeare's Mark Antony in "Julius Caesar" 

15 Argument by Analogy Shows a parallel between two basically dissimilar events or situations. In an argument by analogy it is claimed that if two things have certain characteristics (A) in common, then they are also probably have one or more additional traits (B) in common.  When done well the argument can lead to an increase in knowledge.

16 Examples of Arguments by Analogy
St Paul compares the Christian Church, in the Twelfth Chapter of his Epistle to the Romans to a living organism "For as we have many members (i.e., limbs, organs, etc.) in one body, and all members have not the same office (i.e., duty), so we, being many, are one body in Christ, and every one members one of another."

17 Antithesis

18 Examples in I Have a Dream
The marvelous new militancy (ALLITERATION) which has engulfed the Negro community must not lead us to a distrust of all white people, for many of our white brothers, as evidenced by their presence here today, have come to realize that their destiny is tied up with our destiny . And they have come to realize that their freedom is inextricably bound to our freedom (PARALLELISM). We cannot walk alone. And as we walk, we must make the pledge that we shall always march ahead. We cannot turn back. There are those who are asking the devotees of civil rights, " When will you be satisfied?" (HYPOPHORA) We can never be satisfied as long as the Negro is the victim of the unspeakable horrors of police brutality. We can never be satisfied as long as our bodies, heavy with the fatigue of travel, cannot gain lodging in the motels of the highways and the hotels of the cities. We cannot be satisfied as long as a Negro in Mississippi cannot vote and a Negro in New York believes he has nothing for which to vote. No, no, we are not satisfied and we will not be satisfied (CONDUPLICATIO) until justice rolls down like waters and righteousness like a mighty stream (SIMILE).

19 I have a dream that one day even the state of Mississippi, a state sweltering with the heat of injustice, sweltering with the heat of oppression (METAPHOR), will be transformed into an oasis of freedom and justice (METAPHOR). I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character (ANTITHESIS). I have a dream today ! I have a dream that one day , down in Alabama, with its vicious racists, with its governor having his lips dripping with the words of interposition and nullification; one day right down in Alabama little black boys and black girls will be able to join hands with little white boys and white girls (CONDUPLICATIO) as sisters and brothers. I have a dream today (ANAPHORA)! I have a dream that one day every valley shall be exalted , and every hill and mountain shall be made low , the rough places will be made plain , and the crooked places will be made straight , and the glory of the Lord shall be revealed and all flesh shall see it together (PARALLELISM).

20 Examples from JFK Inaugural Address
(Rhetorical techniques used are shown in bold print, followed by their name in capital letters in brackets.) "We observe today not a victory of party but a celebration of freedom, (ANTITHESIS) symbolizing an end as well as a beginning, signifying renewal as well as change (PARALLELISM). For I have sworn before you and Almighty God the same solemn oath our forebears prescribed nearly a century and three-quarters ago. The world is very different now. For man holds in his mortal hands the power to abolish all forms of human poverty and all forms of human life (ANAPHORA) And yet the same revolutionary beliefs for which our forebears fought are still at issue around the globe -- the belief that the rights of man come not from the generosity of the state but from the hand of God (ANTITHESIS),

21 Examples from JFK Inaugural Address
We dare not forget today that we are the heirs of that first revolution. Let the word go forth from this time and place, to friend and foe (ALLITERATION) alike, that the torch has been passed (METAPHOR) to a new generation of Americans -- born in this century, tempered by war, disciplined by a hard and bitter peace, proud of our ancient heritage (PARALLELISM) and unwilling to witness or permit the slow undoing of those human rights to which this nation has always been committed, and to which we are committed today at home and around the world. Let every nation know, whether it wishes us well or ill, that we shall pay any price, bear any burden, meet any hardship, support any friend, oppose any foe (PARALLELISM) to assure the survival and the success of liberty. This much we pledge (ANASTROPHE) -- and more.

22 Ideas for Responses How are the speeches alike and/or different in their choices of language? In other words, do the speeches seem as if they were composed for the general public or rather for specific groups? Of the three, which do you see as being the most direct? That is, which speech uses the least amount of figurative language and/or obscure references? Which of the three is the most metaphorical in its content? In other words, which makes the most use of figurative language?

23 Ideas for Essays How relevant would the ideas be in society if the speech were delivered today? Do the mentioned struggles still exist? Has the country evolved since the speeches were given? Has society responded to the specific appeals for change? Based strictly on the texts themselves, which speech do you see as the most: 1. eloquent? 2. passionate? 3. intellectual? 4. persuasive? 5. honest?

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