A More Perfect Union
By Caroline Jensen
We all know that Mr President, Sir Barack Hussein Obama is a great speaker and knows how to defend his case. We all know that he’s capable of capturing an audience and make them listen to what he has to say. We all know this and we all think this is why he has become such an important man in the American lives, but how come his speeches are so great? What is it that makes people listen to him and believe everything he says?
It is a known fact that Barack Obama can capture his voters with amazing speeches that makes more sense than math does once it gets explained. To know what it really is that make him such a great spokesperson for America, we must analyse one of his speeches. In this case, I’m going to analyse a speech by him, called “A More Perfect Union” that he held in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, in March, 2008, where the US ...view middle of the document...
Barack Obama’s speech echoes the rhetorical concepts of ethos, pathos and logos, which are all explicitly discussed within Aristotle’s The Rhetoric.
Ethos is about how trustable a person is and if the person is reliable, where pathos is all about the emotions and feelings and how strongly they are presented, and the last one is used for logic knowledge and statistics and is called logos.
All the rhetorical concepts are evident in the speech and is expressed in various ways, striking language and through feelings and logic.
Above, it says that ethos is how trustable the spokesperson is, and Obama is very trustable by giving actual information. He gives historical references, like explaining the extent of his own family tree.
Pathos is achieved through the use of emotional appeals. Obama alters the thoughts and feelings of his audience through telling about the story of Philadelphia. The topic of race wakes strong emotions in the Philadelphians, and even now, at this very second, it still does. The audience is able to connect with the strong emotions and it all becomes very humane.
Obama knows very well how to use logos, and does it well in this speech. Logic and knowledge can easily be found throughout the text, for example by displaying objectivity. Barack Obama also explains the problems with race within America and gives reasonable and logic solutions to the problems
To sum it all up then we can easily say that Barack Obama, America’s president, knows how to use Aristotle’s rhetorical devices in his speeches, and especially in this one. He knows how to reach his audience and he knows how to capture people with his words, his logic, his feelings and his reliability.