Barack Obama's Inaugural Address 2009

This study guide will help you analyze Barack Obama’s inaugural address from 2009. We will show you examples of elements in the text that will be relevant for your analysis. In these notes, we will focus on the summary, topic, speaker, audience, language, modes of persuasion, circumstances, and intention.

Presentation of the speech

Title: “Barack Obama’s Inaugural Address 2009”
Speaker: Barack Obama
Context: The commencement of Barack Obama's US Presidency 
Date of speech: January 20, 2009

Barack Obama (b. 1961) is an African-American politician who served as senator and as the 44th President of the United States. When the speech was delivered, he was at the beginning of his first term as US President.

You can watch the speech here.


Below, you can read an excerpt from our study guide: 

Direct Address

In the speech, you will notice multiple instances of direct address. The speaker begins by addressing Americans, engaging them with the speech: “My fellow citizens: I stand here today humbled by the task before us, grateful for the trust you've bestowed, mindful of the sacrifices borne by our ancestors.”

As the speech progress, the speaker addresses other peoples and world leaders, in an attempt to make his speech globally relevant and reassert America’s position at an international level: “And so, to all the other peoples and governments who are watching today, from the grandest capitals to the small village where my father was born, know that America is a friend of each nation…” 


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Barack Obama's Inaugural Address 2009

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