Rhetorical Devices In Ronald Reagan's Inaugural Speech

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Multiple presidents throughout history have presented their Inaugural speeches, but not all have been as influential as a speech presented with complete thought and various rhetorical devices. An inaugural speech or inaugural address is the first speech made by a President at a ceremony; this ceremony is called an Inauguration. In Ronald Reagan's inaugural speech, which was held on January 20th of 1981, he presents many Rhetorical Devices in which engage both to the audience's emotions and provide information throughout his whole speech. Ronald Reagan used many rhetorical devices and got his point across to the people which made his inaugural address nothing short of excellent. The first Rhetorical Device Ronald Reagan used in his Inaugural speech was the use of Pathos. Throughout his speech, Ronald Reagan uses the ‘ingredients of persuasion’ to focus on the emotions of everyone listening, “Now I have used the words ‘they’ and ‘their’ in speaking of these heroes. I could say ‘you’ and ‘your’ because I’m addressing the heroes of whom I speak -- you, the citizens of this blessed land”. …show more content…

In Reagan's address, he uses rhetorical questions to challenge the minds of the people listening by saying, "But if no one among us is capable of governing himself, then who among us has the capacity to govern someone else?" The quote states that people at the time could not take care of themselves and in return, they could not take care of other people. This adds a little insult towards the people and shows how past leaders have put a top order over everyone because they were too feeble-minded to manage themselves. This opens the minds of the audience by catching their attention as he proceeds speaking throughout the address. Reagan sleekly pops this question in his writing and makes the use of practicing a rhetorical question

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