Here are the elements which will help you with the analysis of Alexander Stephens’ Cornerstone speech.
The rhetorical situation is that the speech is delivered by Alexander Stephens, the Vice-President of the Confederate States. His speech is delivered in Savannah, Georgia to citizens of the state and the Mayor of the city. You should note that this is not the actual speech, but a sketch made by a reporter.
The composition of the speech is structured around the new changes made to the Constitution of the Confederate States. The speech can be split into five parts depending on the topics Stephens addresses.
The style of language used in Stephens’ speech is formal and complex, which matches the topic he discusses. At times, Stephens uses figurative language to highlight his message.
The main rhetorical devices Stephens uses in his speech are rhetorical questions, tricolons, and allusions. The rhetorical devices help to make the text more appealing to the audience and to support Stephens’ message.
In his speech, Stephens uses a mix of all three forms of appeal. Logos and pathos are most commonly used to support Stephens’ arguments and to convince the audience of their validity. Stephens also builds ethos for himself to appear as a reliable speaker.
You can read a full analysis of the speech on the following pages.