Rhetorical Analysis of Barack Obama’s Speech

Rhetorical Analysis Of Obama`s Speech

44th President of the US got two Grammy Awards for the best-spoken words. Obama received these awards for a reason. His statements are powerful, efficient, and targeted to the audience. One of the greatest Obama’s speeches for the rhetorical analysis is his formal talk at Nelson Mandela’s Memorial. There are five Aristotle’s rhetorical canons: style, delivery, arrangement, invention, and memory. In this rhetorical analysis, the President’s speech will be analyzed using these five principles. During his speech, Obama aligned his values with Mandela’s and used this as a platform to broadcast his beliefs.

President uses a style that is perfect for the memorial service for the world leader. He chooses a meaningful disposition; his speech also is very dignified. What is interesting, Obama speaks very slowly and makes long pauses to give the audience the time to react and feel his words better. President uses very official language, as the situation requires.

When people analyze delivery of the speech, it means that they examine figures of speech, vocal strategies and figures of thought in a particular affirmation. One of the most used figures of speech here is the antithesis. For example, “he changed laws but also hearts.” However, anaphora is also very often used in this speech. Obama’s vocal strategy is deep, deliberate, and slow at the same time. Very confident and relaxed positive body language helps Obama to get a positive reaction from the audience. Delivery of this speech is highly efficient.

As the other components, the arrangement of the president’s speech is very logical and properly constructed. Chronologically, the method is mostly coherent. Obama starts from the Mandela’s childhood and goes through all his life. After that, Barack Obama speaks about the message that Mandela left behind. Finally, President talks about how human life will change if people will take on Mandela’s message. This dream in Obama’s speech inspired people from many countries so that is very useful for the event.

The author of the speech uses different artistic and inartistic proofs to show his point of view. Obama also uses the mix of such proofs, which is very effective. The authority of Obama is high at the very beginning of the speech. There are two main reasons for that. First, he is the President of the United States (that is the superpower). Secondly, accordingly to the polls, the majority of South Africans see Obama as the ideal politician they want to vote. Barack Obama took this high level of authority and put it on a higher level by his compelling and effective speech.

Finally, let’s take a look at the speech from the memory’s canon point of view. Obama practically does not pry into his notes, which makes an effect that there no prompts at all. All these increase Obama’s credibility. Thus, the Barack Obama’s speech can be an example of the perfect statement made for a particular situation.

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