Analysis

Here are the elements which will help you with the analysis of Joe Biden’s speech at the Democratic National Convention in 2020. 

The rhetorical situation is that the speech is delivered by Joe Biden, an American politician. Biden served as Vice President under Barack Obama from 2009 to 2017. At the Democratic National Convention, he is officially chosen as the party’s nominee in the US presidential election. 

When it comes to the composition of the speech, it is structured around the four problems that dominate the US: the pandemic, racism, the economic crisis, and climate change. Biden also highlights Trump’s failure as president, and presents his own political agenda.

Biden’s style of language reflects the formal context of the speech, but Biden also inserts some informal features – especially through his personal anecdotes – which make him appear approachable. 

Biden uses rhetorical devices such as rhetorical questions, allusions and direct references, repetition, and direct address to get his points across. The rhetorical devices are meant to highlight the faulty leadership of Donald Trump and make the audience consider a better future in which Biden is president. 

Biden employs all three forms of appeal in the speech. Biden builds ethos by bringing up his service as Vice President under Barack Obama. He also borrows ethos from Obama and the nominated Vice President, Kamala Harris. Biden appeals to pathos through personal stories and anecdotes, while logos is mainly used when he presents his political agenda. 

You can read a full analysis of the speech in the following pages.