Ronald Reagan: Evil Empire Speech
Assignment: Analyze how Ronald Reagan uses rhetorical devices to depict relations between the US and Soviet Union. Thesis: Reagan organizes and structures his speech using various rhetorical devices in order to depict the Soviet Union as an “Evil Empire”. P1: Invention (Speaker/Ethos)
People pray to him, therefore he considers himself God.
Leader of the United States, a major superpower in this point in time Can borrow power from his position and put it into his speech Position and other’s opinion of him works toward his credibility P2: Style
Unique way of being informal yet authoritative
Very influential, by instilling fear into audience
Uses many metaphors to indirectly insult the Soviet Union
To make it look like he’s not directly insulting
Abortion = Communism
Uses many examples in history
Relates back to the 1930s
No one wants something like that to happen again
How the USSR killed its own citizens
Refers to the American mythos
We were meant to lead
We were meant to protect the weak
We do not restrict individual liberties
Sum it all up!
In his “Evil Empire” speech, Reagan organizes and structures his debate using various rhetorical devices in order to depict the Soviet Union as an enemy of the United States. In presenting his address, Reagan makes use of his role in office in his “Evil Empire” speech. By holding a high position such as the leader of the United States, one of the two superpowers during the Cold War, he establishes his authority and ensures trust in the audience. His credibility and the American public’s assurance in his words are supported by the incident in which Reagan was worshipped by the people outside of the East Room of the White House during a meeting. As a result of the event, Reagan assumes himself to be an entity similar to that of God. Reagan speaks with a style of informality, but maintains his authority throughout the entire speech. This is...
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