William Mcraven's Speech Rhetorical Analysis

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Admiral William H. Mcraven addressed the 2014 graduating class at the University of Austin, Texas with more than eight thousand students in attendance. The address given by Adm. Mcraven touched the hearts of millions from all around the world by his inspirational message of how one person can change the world if they simply helped change the lives of ten others in their lifetime. I chose this speech for my rhetorical analysis because of the simple message it portrays, how helping a few can eventually help many. Adm. Mcraven’s address was especially effective for his audience, much due to how he relates to the students by reminiscing of the day he graduated from UT while providing advice for young college graduates preparing to begin their adult lives. Adm. William Mcraven graduated from UT in 1977, following his graduation he elected to volunteer for BUD/S, (Basic Underwater Demolition/SEAL training). After nearly thirty-seven years of service, Adm. Mcraven concluded his career having commanded every special operations task force that the US military had to offer. Adm. …show more content…

Mcraven uses Ethos effectively but sparingly throughout his speech, the most prominent is when Adm. Mcraven declared he had been a Navy SEAL for 36 years. Aside from this statement, Ethos is used in his speech indirectly when he spoke about overcoming some of the challenges of SEAL training. Pathos is used extensively throughout the speech. Adm. Mcraven created a strong emotional response when he talked about the lessons he learned from overcoming the various hardships encountered throughout SEAL training. For example, Adm. Mcraven spoke about how he and his fellow trainees were ordered to swim across a stretch of ocean at night shortly after being informed of the vast number of sharks that occupy the waters they were about to swim across. After concluding the account, he said “There are a lot of sharks in the world. If you hope to complete the swim, you will have to deal with

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