Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Obama's Pimpin' Rhetorical Speech

Good morning, America.

So as you all know, Mr. President Obama gave his second inaugural address just a couple days ago (thankfully he didn't mess up the swearing-in process again). As you may assume based upon prior speeches, it was chock-full of good ol' rhetoric. To anyone who has ever heard a politician speak, this should be no surprise.

It appeared that Obama's favorite rhetorical devices were parallel structure, anaphora and climax. An example of parallel structure: "Our workers are no less productive than when this crisis began. Our minds are no less inventive, our goods and services —I swear he winked after saying that— no less needed..." The parallelism is obvious. Our ______ no less ______, repeat, repeat. As far as anaphora, I thought it was used very nicely throughout the speech. It was subtle and did not seem at all forced, very much unlike the vocab in our screenplays. The best use of anaphora in the speech was, in my opinion, "So it has been. So it must be..." I swear he sounds like Socrates.  So sophisticated and philosophical. And woooo boy, that speech sure was climactic. The man could have been talking about oranges and all he'd have to do is speak with audible passion, pause at the end, and BAM, like magic, everyone would applaud.

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You're a wizard, Obama.
We could all learn a lesson in rhetoric from politicians.

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