Rhetorical Analysis of Barrack Obama's Second Inaugural Address

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Caessar Saldana
Jan 30, 2013
Lit Comp AP
Brown-Pd. 5

Rhetorical Analysis on the Second Inaugural Address
of President Barrack Obama

Barrack Obama’s inauguration speech successfully executed crafty rhetoric to ensure our country that we will be under safe hands. The speech draws from ideas straight from the founding documents and Martin Luther King’s speech to establish ‘our’ goal to join together and take action on the many problems facing our country. As President Barrack Obama begins his speech, He refrains from using ‘me’, ‘myself’, and ‘I’ but instead ‘we’, ‘us’, and ‘together’ to establish ethos. He makes sure his audience feels at his level, and he at theirs. This way he connects to the audience, and in turn, aids his assertion of unity. Using various examples of anaphora, parallelism, and refrain, Obama brands the theme of equality and togetherness throughout the speech, vital to gain the respect of the listeners. Obama recalls the ‘enduring strength of the constitution’ by delving into the past alluding to America’s allegiance to the Declaration of Independence by quoting “we hold these truths… that among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness”. This allusion establishes more ethos by reminding us that the quote of equality is still of great importance today as it was the time it was written.

In the light of Martin Luther King’s “I Have A Dream” speech, which happened to fall on the same day as this speech this year, President Barrack Obama tied his speech closely to his, both in the importance of unity and similar structure and language. Our president brings us to the past, telling us that freedom had a long line of being taken rather than given. He uses logos to solidify this idea by referring back to the American Revolution, reminding us, in a periodic sentence, that the patriots didn’t fight for revenge, but for freedom. Freedom that we would keep safe entrusting every single generation with it. Just as King had done...
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