Intention

Introduction

There is always an intention or purpose behind a speech. This point often represents the culmination of your analysis, because the intention has an enormous influence on the devices and arguments that the speaker chooses to employ. Essentially, most elements of a good speech are tailored to the speaker’s intention somehow. Therefore, speaking about the intention behind a speech and how it is realized can be a natural endpoint for your analysis.

What is the intention?

According to theories of classical rhetoric first developed in Ancient Greece, there are three main intentions that may lie behind a speech: to inform, to entertain and to persuade

In practice, a speech will usually touch upon more than one of these intentions, but often your analysis will reveal that one intention is more dominant than the others. For example, persuasion will usually be the dominant intention in the realm of politics, because a politician naturally wants the support of potential voters.

When you go into specifics with the intention of a speech, you should go into more detail than simply noting that the speaker is trying to inform or persuade - you will need to say what the speaker is trying to inform the audience about, or what the speaker wishes to persuad...

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