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Analysis Of The Rhetoric Used In Edward Kennedy's "Now Is The Time" Speech

1242 words - 5 pages

The lexical devices used by Senator Edward Kennedy are the most apparent tools used after initial analysis of the speech. The use of pathos, ethos and, sparingly, logos has been employed to rouse the audience, and excite their sense of patriotism. The use of logos has been combined with pathos for a stronger impact, as can be seen in the first few lines of the speech. "For we are more than a political coalition, more than a collection of programmes, more than the sum of our prospects and our strategy." By preceding these distinctly formal and restrictive words or descriptions with the phrase 'more than,' the audience have been made to feel valued for not only their work and dedication, but for the individual qualities they bring to the party. The audience can feel that they belong to a political group, but one with something special to offer. This, he is saying, is a political party not like the others. Thus, it can be said that the pathos is transferred to the audience via a negative use of logos, in the speaker's favour. Kennedy continues, to tell the audience that they are "trustees of a dream" again using a combination of logos and pathos to appeal to those with a sense of duty, and of hope.The success of the speech lies primarily in the ways that the ethos of the speaker has been weaved throughout it, and conveyed to the audience. This is to say the speech would not have succeeded had the speaker not been Edward Kennedy, nor if Kennedy had not made such an eloquent address of his character. Not only has Kennedy "stood together", both literally and metaphorically, with the audience many times since the 1960's, thus showing his loyal and dedicated character, he happens to have the good fortune of being part of a political empire, which he does use to his advantage in this speech. By being introduced to the audience by his politician nephew, John Fitzgerald Kennedy Jr, and making references to "brother" Robert Kennedy, Edward Kennedy's stature in the political world is amplified. Having these links between himself and politician family members indicates a level of experience, and authority, which makes Kennedy appear trustworthy and reliable. These assumed characteristics combined with the sturdy, deep, conservative sound of Kennedy's voice, create a stable character we feel obliged to respect. Above all however, the audience should take greater notice of Kennedy's speech because of his family's near celebrity status, and thus by using family members throughout the speech, he should maintain the interest levels of an audience interested in political affairs, if not an audience interested in social affairs.Towards the end of Kennedy's speech, when he delivers the line "now is the time", he uses the voices of the both deceased Dr. Martin Luther King Jr and Robert Kennedy to give eminence to his own opinion. Because of the personal link Kennedy has to Robert Kennedy, the audience is able to accept Edward Kennedy using his voice. It is with the...

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