Here are the elements which will help you with the analysis of John F. Kennedy’s Moon Speech.
The rhetorical situation is that the speech is delivered by John F. Kennedy, the 35th American president. The speech is delivered in 1962 to the audience present at Rice Stadium, on the Rice University Campus. Although the main audience is the students and faculty members present on the stadium, Kennedy addresses all the American citizens.
When it comes to composition, Kennedy structures his speech around two main aspects: the development of space science and technology, and the importance of the US becoming a leader in the space race by being the first nation to land a man on the Moon.
Kennedy’s style of language is formal and reflects the context of the speech. Figurative language, which is introduced at times, makes his speech more attractive for the audience.
Some of the rhetorical devices used in Kennedy’s speech are antithesis, rhetorical questions, direct address, humor, repetition, and direct references. While some rhetorical devices are meant to highlight the importance of space exploration, others are meant to relax and amuse the audience.
Kennedy employs all three forms of appeal in his speech. By using ethos, logos, and pathos, Kennedy balances his speech and attempts to convince the audience of the importance of space exploration and of sending a man to the Moon.
You can read a full analysis of the speech in the following pages.