Tom Hanks Speech Rhetorical Analysis

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The topic of homosexuality in Tom Hanks speech is one of great division among the people of our country, especially at the time he chose to bring attention to it, yet his use of rhetorical speaking, particularly Ethos and Pathos, assist to both mitigate and normalize a typically polarizing issue. The introduction to his speech features an immediate nod to emotion when he mentions love and his “lover”, or wife, saying “I could not be standing here without that undying love… And I have that in a lover that is so close to fine, we should all be able to experience such heaven right here on earth”. By introducing the concept of “love” as the preliminary subject before the actual meaning of the speech is made clear, a common connection is made between the audience, who includes both celebrities and the American public, that is necessary to establish due to the status that the speaker possesses. Because of this elevated status, Ethos emerges as a secondary rhetorical device that aids Tom in delivering his message. Due to the occupation that Mr. Hanks holds, there is often a perceived disconnect between the average person and himself, which can then make delivering an important message all the more difficult as there is no emotional connection between him and the audience. Tom overcomes this hurdle with the aforementioned use of the universal feeling of love, which all can relate to. Once common ground is found between the speaker and the audience, he begins to foreshadow his later

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