Obama's Commencement Speech

Topics: Rhetoric, Rhetorical techniques, Speech Pages: 3 (1057 words) Published: November 29, 2012
Obama’s Speech
Everybody knows how good of a speaker Obama is. His speeches always seem to convince the audience, but it is not by everybody understood what distinguishes him from other speakers. Certain skills he frequently uses help him reach his main purpose, but the question remains what these skills include. Therefore, the aim of this commentary is explain how the use of rhetorical devices makes Obama’s speeches stand out and memorable. Rhetorical devices are techniques that an author or speaker uses in order to convey the listener or reader a message with the goal to persuade him or her towards a certain perspective. There are a lot of different kinds of techniques such as irony and the use of metaphors. When listening carefully to Obama’s speeches one is able to distinguish certain rhetorical devices that seem to keep coming back in every other of his speeches. We could say Obama has got some favourite techniques which clearly seem to help him in giving excellent speeches. When we take a closer look at Obama’s commencement speech for the Illinois university school of medicine we can also find the devices that keep coming back. The Technique he uses the most frequently is the so called ‘tricolon’, which can also be called ‘the rule of threes’. Tricolon uses series of three to emphasis certain issues and by this making his point even more clear and memorable. In Obama’s Inauguration speech alone we are able to find twenty two example of tricolon and in this commencement speech he also is not ‘afraid’ of using it. Already in his first sentence we are able to find an example of this device: “After four years of endless work, sleepless nights, and constant stress”. And even though this is his first sentence and it is a joke, he already stresses the fact that his audience has worked hard and that it is something they can be proud of. Also by using three word groups each from a noun and an adjective he makes the ‘situation’ seem even more dramatic and funny....
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