Rhetorical Analysis Comparative Paper

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In the play Julius Caesar there were a few speeches that were very impactful to the play. Among these speeches was Anthony’s lecture where he was able to persuade the people of Rome that Caesar was not ambitious and that Caesar did not deserve to die. This speech is very well executed because of the fact that he never directly stated his claim but using verbal irony he was able to get his message through and still have a big impact on the people of Rome. Anthony uses pathos, ethos, and logos throughout his speech to deliver his message and successfully reached his audience. He uses pathos throughout his speech in various ways. First, he uses the word friends many times throughout his speech reaching the citizens’ emotions making them feel like they can trust him. (pg 132 line 72). Also, he tells the people how he was close with Caesar and cared for him deeply and showing that his death has affected him greatly (pg132 lines 82-83). He even stops in his speech, turns away, and cries, this making the citizens see his pain which helps him persuade them (pg 134 lines 104-105). In addition, he uses logos continuously to back up his point. He brings up evidence to prove that Caesar wasn’t ambitious and that he cared for the citizens. ”You all did see that on the Lupercal I thrice presented him a kingly crown, Which he did thrice refuse: was this ambition?” “He hath brought many captives home to Rome Whose ransoms did the general coffers fill: Did this in Caesar seem ambitious?”(pg 134 lines 93-95). He uses this to prove his point and he also adds rhetorical questions to make the citizens think and question if what he is saying makes sense. He repeats the rhetorical question if Caesar was really ambitious and if Brutus was actually an honorable man numerous times to make the citizens contemplate on the question and eventually persuade them to see things how he wants them to. Furthermore, Anthony uses ethos in his speech when he comes down from the platform and stands among the citizens to show that he is not above them, that they are all equal, and claims he is no orator. This helps his argument because it makes him seem humble and allows the people to feel a connection to him and will confide in him.

There are many other great speeches that use rhetorical devices to deliver very impactful messages to people. An example of a great speech is Barbara Charline Jordan’s “1976 Democratic National Convention Keynote Address”. In this speech, Barbara is talking about how the democratic party has made mistakes but these mistakes have happened due to them trying to help people. She states that the democratic party is equal to everyone and there is no one is above another (line 32, lines 42-46). She brings up the fact that immigrants could be able to connect to the democrats and what they are thinking due to the fact that these are Americans from diverse backgrounds that believe that people should have a say over what happens in their government (lines 54-57). She states that in order to help the people public officials should be doing more and incorporating more of the ideas of the people, which is what the democratic party is willing to do (lines 137-143). In this speech, much like Anthony’s speech Barabara uses ethos, pathos, and logos to capture her audience. She uses ethos when she states “We believe in equality for all and privileges” (lines 49-50) demonstrating to her audience that the democratic party views everyone as equals no matter what background they are from and what their social status might be. She ties in pathos when she reaches the people’s emotions by stating “problems which include lack of integrity in government; the feeling that the individual no longer counts; the reality of material and spiritual poverty” (lines 21-22) this makes the audience feel concerned and makes them want to listen to Barbara’s words for the solution to this problem. She also adds in logos when she uses herself as an example as to how the democratic party has progressed. “During that time it would have been most unusual for any national political party to ask Barbara Jordan to deliver a keynote address. But tonight, here I am.” (lines 9-12) This shows that the democratic party has become more open and receiving by letting black women represent them. She uses repetition throughout her speech as she continues to repeat that the Democratic party believes that everyone is equal and will work to provide this fair treatment to everyone. “What is it? What is it about the Democratic Party that makes it the instrument people use when they search for ways to shape their future?” (lines43-45). Barbara also uses rhetorical questions just like Anthony in his speech, to make her audience think about her question and then want to listen for the answer. Using all these rhetorical devices she was able to capture her listeners’ attention and get her message through.

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To add on, from the plethora of amazing speeches in history, Carrie Chapman Catt with her speech called “The Crisis” also presented an exceptional speech using rhetorical devices to do so. Her speech was meant to reach out to her audience who were mainly women and inspire them to join the fight for women’s suffrage and recognize the problem with the 1916 society and that women and men should be treated equally. Similar to the other speeches she incorporates ethos, pathos, and logos in her speech. She uses pathos throughout her speech as she tries to excite and get her audience eager. ‘We women have been so used to being kept down that it would seem strange to get up. Nature intended women for door-mats.’ (lines 76-78) She uses these words to prove that women are not treated how they should be treated and wants to get these females to want to change these unfair circumstances. The fact that she is a woman herself and can give an insight on these issues helps develop sympathy in the audience, especially since most of her listeners are women that are facing the same struggles. She uses logos with a variety of evidence throughout her speech that women have many amazing qualities that shouldn’t be ignored and to prove her point that women should be treated with respect just like everyone else. “An official statement recently issued in Great Britain announced that 660,000 women were engaged in making munitions in that country alone. ”(Lines 93-96). With information such as this, she informs her audience to see that women are worthy to be treated equally to men and this persuades the audience. She uses ethos since she is the president of the National Suffrage Association. To add on, she is a woman who faces these difficulties so she is the perfect person to deliver this message. She uses metaphors in her speech as well to create an image for the audience, for example, when she compares democracy to a wave destined to sweep over the world (lines 143-149). Also, just like Anthony’s speech Carrie uses Rhetorical questions to get her audience thinking about the points she has made. “suppose we reach out with united earnestness and determination to grasp our victory while it still hangs a bit too high? Has any harm been done?”(lines 36-39). With all these devices Anthony, Carrie Chapman, and Barbara Jordan were able to present very influential speeches.

Work cited list

  1. https://www.americanrhetoric.com/speeches/carriechapmancattthecrisis.htm,American Rhetoric: Carrie Chapman Catt – The Crisis, 02, December,2019
  2. https://www.americanrhetoric.com/speeches/barbarajordan1976dnc.html
  3. American Rhetoric: Barbara Jordan – 1976 Democratic National Convention Keynote Address 02, December, 2019
  4. Shakespeare, “No fear Shakespeare Julius Caesar”, spark notes,2003


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