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Rhetorical Pentagon Obamas Speech

By Charliehey Mar 08, 2015 772 Words
Rhetorical pentagon

Language – How is the topic presented; Vocabulary, Tone, Style. Circumstance

Modes of persuasion/ Rhetorical appeals (Appelformer)
1. Ethos – The speakers ability to establish credibility /trust. 2. Pathos – Appeals to emotions, affects the subconscious, often use of adjectives. (Language) 3. Logos – Appeals to logic, via facts and statistics.

Discourse- Choice of words/The way you choose to say something. Them/us, I/we

President Obama’s speech at prayer vigil for Newtown shooting victims (Full transcript) By Washington Post Staff December 16, 2012

Rhetorical pentagon on Obamas speech:

Topic: “The Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting occurred on December 14, 2012, in Newtown, Connecticut, when 20-year-old Adam Lanza fatally shot 20 children and 6 adult staff members.[5][6] Prior to driving to the school, Lanza shot and killed his mother at their Newtown home.[8][11][12] As first responders arrived at the scene, Lanza committed suicide by shooting himself in the head.”

Reader: Due to the background of the speaker, the receiver group is large. All of America and maybe the entire world. The prayer vigil. People who has lost family and friends.
It was broadcasted on national television.

Speaker: Barack Obama, the president of the united states. Might be the most popular person in the country and world. His position gives the speaker ethos, which appeals to the reader’s credibility and trust. The ethos of a president or any other politician, gives a credibility in politics and legislation and in this circumstance, the gun law. Not being rude. No logos because of the situation.

Very clearly uses pathos.
Also a part of the Americans

Circumstance: Post- massacre, school shooting at Newtown. It’s a prayer vigil (Which is a ceremony where you mourn for the lost ones). An ideal platform for Obama.

1. Show respect, console the families.
2. Change the rules of guns  gun legislation.
3. He uses the opportunity to slip in small anecdotes to convincing the audience without them knowing it. He uses the situation as an example of what the gun law is creating.

Federal government law (Everyone) and state law (The individual stat)

Division of the text.

Biblical references:
Page 1:
“guests, scripture tells us, “Do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, inwardly, we are being renewed day by day. “For light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all, so we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.

“For we know that if the earthly tent we live in is destroyed, we have a building from God, an eternal house in heaven not built by human hands.””

Do not give up, and do not lose faith in America.

Rhetorical questions:
Page 3: (Repetition)

“And by that measure, can we truly say, as a nation, that we’re meeting our obligations?

Can we honestly say that we’re doing enough to keep our children, all of them, safe from harm?

Can we claim, as a nation, that we’re all together there, letting them know they are loved and teaching them to love in return?

Can we say that we’re truly doing enough to give all the children of this country the chance they deserve to live out their lives in happiness and with purpose?”

We/I (The answer to the Rhetorical questions)

“I’ve been reflecting on this the last few days, and if we’re honest with ourselves, the answer’s no. We’re not doing enough. And we will have to change. Since I’ve been president, this is the fourth time we have come together to comfort a grieving community torn apart by mass shootings, fourth time we’ve hugged survivors, the fourth time we’ve consoled the families of victims.”

In this quote Obama uses both of the personal pronouns I and we. Throughout the speech he uses a lot of the “We” and “We as a nation”. By using the personal pronoun “we” he creates a general solidarity of responsibility. Goerge Bush was renown for using “them” and “us” about the terrorist attacks and Al-Qaida.

“insanity is doing the same thing over and over again but expecting different results” – Albert Einstein.”

Why does Obama not mention Adam Lancer in his speech?
By not mentioning Adam Lancer he is not creating an enemy. Instead he is making the gun legislation the enemy. Can we honestly say that we’re doing enough to keep our children, all of them, safe from harm? Obama talks about “our children” and by our children, Adam Lancer is also a child.

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