How can the use of rhetorical devices enhance a speech?
By Samantha Birch
The strength and passion that are behind words are often formed through rhetorical devices, which have the ability to enhance a speech, and demand attention from the audience by persuading them. However, it is also through the use of speech elements that have assisted the creation of distinctive voices of significant individuals in today’s society and throughout history. The use of Ethos (credibility), Pathos (emotional), and Logos (logical) provide evidence into how the speaker captures and draws attention from their audience. It is evident that through the two speeches – ‘Inaugural Address’ spoken by president John Fitzgerald Kennedy, and ‘Address to the Plenary Session, Earth Summit’ spoken by Severn Cullis-Suzuki, that rhetorical devices and speech elements are used in order to successfully enhance a speech and gain an audience’s attention.
In order to enhance a speech, the speaker needs to focus on what to say and how to say it. John Kennedy’s speech the ‘Inaugural Address’ presents a consistent flow of ideas, which enhances the speech. Inaugural Address is enhanced by the technique’s antithesis and juxtaposition. Towards the end of the speech, John says, “ask not what your country can do for you, but what you can do for your country”. Through the use of antithesis and juxtaposition, the audience are able to form a deeper understanding of the point that JFK is attempting to make. However, by juxtaposing an idea, it is evident that Kennedy aims to persuade the audience to believing that the statement is true and a reality for all human beings. It is seen in the statement that Kennedy is trying to make an assumption, whilst also creating a message that is logos. Therefore, by creating a message that is logos, it persuades the audience with a given reason. By implying this statement, Kennedy makes the audience question whether they are going to be lazy or help their country out....
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