President Obama’s Inaugural Speech: Rhetorical Analysis

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President Obama’s Inaugural Speech: Rhetorical Analysis

Barrack Obama’s inauguration speech successfully accomplished his goal by using rhetoric to ensure our nation that we will be under safe hands. The speech is similar from ideas obtained from the founding documents and Martin Luther King’s speech to establish ‘our’ goal to get together and take some action on the problems our country is now facing. As President Barrack Obama starts his speech, he keeps himself from using ‘me’, ‘myself’, and ‘I’ and replacing it with ‘we’, ‘us’, and ‘together’ to achieve ethos. He makes sure his audience connects with him directly by making them feel at his level, and him at theirs. This way he connects to the audience, and in exchange, helps his statement of unity. Using various examples of parallelism, anaphora and refrain, Obama brands the theme of equality and togetherness in our country throughout the speech, vital to gain the respect of his audience. Obama recalls the ‘enduring strength of the constitution’ by delving into the past alluding to America’s allegiance to the Declaration of Independence by quoting “we hold these truths… that among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness”. This expression clearly shows more ethos by reminding us that the quote of equality is of great importance today as it was the time it was written.

In the light of Martin Luther King’s “I Have A Dream” speech, which happened on the same exact day as this speech that year, President Barrack Obama connected his speech closely to Martin’s, both in the importance of unification and very similar in language and structure. Our president takes us to the past, telling us that freedom was closer of being taken rather than given. He uses logos to re...

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...ieve for all. Concluding his speech, the president reminds us that we are the hope; we ARE the change. Obama finishes his address thanking God and proclaiming, “may He forever bless these United States of America.” For the final push of ethos to conclude his speech.


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"Inaugural Address by President Barack Obama." The White House. The White House, n.d. Web. 22 Apr. 2014. .

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