Letter To Napoleon Rhetorical Analysis Essay

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In this letter to Napoleon, written by Elizabeth Barrett Browning, the author attempts to persuade Napoleon to pardon French writer Victor Hugo. She tries to complete this task by feeding into his image and attempting to make him feel empowered. Rhetorical strategies are used by Browning in her letter to persuade him, including juxtaposition, exaggeration, and docile diction. The author uses juxtaposition to compare the acts of Napoleon to the acts of God, which is what Napoleon wants to hear. Browning understands that the only way to get what she wants is to make Napoleon feel powerful, so she compares him to God. “Make an exception of him as God made an exception of him when He gave him genius, and call him back without condition to his country and his daughter’s grave” (Line 56). The author uses juxtaposition to compare Napoleon’s power to God’s power. This affects the reader, Napoleon, by making him feel invincible and complying with what he wants to hear. Overall, the author’s goal is to gain Napoleon’s appreciation so that he will pardon Hugo, and she does this by being a sycophant.…show more content…
Browning attempts to win over Napoleon by showing her high praise for him, but also tries to get Napoleon to sympathize for her. She utilizes pathos in her exaggeration to try to strike an emotional chord in Napoleon. “I have been reading with wet eyes and a swelling heart (as many who love and some who hate you, your Majesty, have done lately a book called ‘Contemplations’ of a man who has sinned deeply against you in certain of his political writings, and who experates rash phrases and unjustifiable statements in exile in Jersey” (Line 14). She exaggerates her “swelling heart” to show Napoleon her support towards him to try to make him understand her side of the argument, by using an
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