Throughout history, the language of rhetoric has been harnessed and manipulated by public speakers throughout the world in order to effectively address key issues surrounding society and politics. The proposition that the enduring appeal of a speech lies in its ability to challenge and inspire is clearly demonstrated in both Anwar Sadat’s “Statement to the Knesset” (1977) and Paul Keating’s “Funeral Service for the Unknown Soldier” (1993). It is indeed the rhetorical treatment of the widely debated values in these speeches- whether it be for peace between two nations or simply the need for a stronger sense of national identity- that makes both these texts so influential in their enduring appeal.
In the light of the four year war preceding his speech which Sadat had evidently implemented, the Prime Minister of Egypt’s address to the Israeli Knesset-an audience which involved not only enemy politician’s but Israelis’ who were personally involved in the war- was indeed one of the most challenging and influential speeches in history. Through the language of rhetoric, Sadat draws upon religious, political and personal motivations in order to propose to the Israeli Knesset a solution for peace to end the age long conflict between the Egypt and Israel. Beginning his speech, Sadat employs the use of religious allusion and pathos in order to set the foundations of his argument to bring unity to both countries through the use of a universal God who loves all and wishes for peace- “We all, Muslims, Christians and Jews, worship god…Gods’ teachings and commandments are love, sincerity, purity and peace.” Making use of inclusive language, Sadat makes sure to note that he speaks on the behalf of Egypt, who like himself, also seek peace with the rival Israelis – “We really and truly welcome you to live amongst us in peace and security”. Throughout his speech, Sadat draws upon religious similarities to sedate the cultural friction...
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