English 2.10 – Analyzing an Oral Text
Barack Obama Speech Analysis
In the compelling Inauguration speech of Barack Obama, the first African-American President, a large range of language and oratory techniques are utilized to convey his message to an audience of over a million Americans. The speech was delivered on the traditional inauguration date of the 20th January 2009, on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial where, 45 years earlier, Martin Luther King Jr. delivered his iconic ‘I Have a Dream’ speech. During Obama’s speech, he uses a range of oratory devices to present himself as credible, the techniques include; the proficient use of tone and performance aspects, extensive use of biblical references, allusion to history, and an important underlying theme. These techniques help to convey his strong message of hope and reapplying the good old American values of honesty, courage, tolerance and loyalty. On the 20th January 2009, democrat Barack Hussain Obama became the first African-American to take the presidential oath for America. He delivered his inauguration speech to an audience of over a million Americans, and at a time when the world’s economy had taken a downturn and America had a controversial presence in the Middle East. Americas history had been darkened by its racism and history of slavery and so the significance of this event was amplified as it showed a new acceptance and a positive step in American Civil Rights. Obama also delivered his inauguration speech on the steps of the Lincoln memorial where, 45 years earlier, Martin Luther King delivered his iconic ‘I Have a Dream’ speech. Congressman James Clyburn, the highest ranking African-American congressman of that time said about the event, “Today is about the validation of the dream Dr. King initiated 45 years ago on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial”, this shows the significance of the event, and put pressure on Obama to put on a show of strength. In Barack Obama’s Inauguration speech, it soon...
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