Rhetorical devices

Rhetorical devices are language tools created with the purpose of making the speaker’s message and arguments both appealing and memorable. In his speech, George W. Bush mostly uses allusion, repetition, and imagery. Other rhetorical devices used by the speaker are direct address, humor and irony, enumeration, and parallel…

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Allusion

Allusions are references to people, events, and media that the speaker considers relevant for the topic and purpose of his speech.

The only historical allusion used in the speech is the one to the US becoming an independent state (and implicitly to the Declaration of Independence and the US Constitution): “We stand for a different choice, made long ago, on the day of our f…

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Direct Address

The speaker uses direct address quite often in the speech, to engage his audience or to convey his intention and his message. For example, the speech begins with a traditional address to the live audience: “Mr. Speaker, Vice President Cheney, members of Congress,  distinguished guests, fellow citizens:” 

At …

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Enumeration

Enumeration is used in the speech on various occasions. In the beginning of the speech, enumeration helps list and summarize in a concise manner some of the main events following the 9/11 terrorist attacks: 

In four short months, our nation has comforted the victims, …

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Humor and irony

George W. Bush occasionally uses humor and irony to ease tension. This is important because his speech is otherwise very serious and uses unusually strong language. At one point, he jokes about the collaboration with both political parties: “I even had nice things t…

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Imagery, metaphors, and similes

The speaker uses powerful imagery in several cases, creating mental images for the audience. Such imagery is constructed with the help of hyperbole, metaphors, and similes, like in the following example: “Thousands of dangerous killers, schooled in the methods of murder, often supported by outlaw regimes, are now spread throughout the world like ticking time bombs, set to go off without warning.” 

In another instance,…

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Repetition

The speech features various examples of repetition, so we will limit ourselves to only a few ones. In some cases, the speaker uses repetition within the same sentence to make his ideas more convincing and memorable: “So long as training camps operate, so long as nations harbor terrorists, freedom is at risk.” 

There are several such examples in the speech. In another instance, h…

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