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Rhetoric or rhetorical language is a persuasive form of oral language meant to influence listeners. It also refers to the set of rules used by a person to achieve the most effective and eloquent expression (Crystal, 1995). By using rhetoric one can speak not just effectively and convincingly but also with art and elegance. All effective speakers choose conventional rhetoric as a tool to convince their audience. The essentials of a good speech include

  1. the appropriateness of a speech for a particular occasion,
  2. using art and eloquence in the speech and
  3. using effective language to communicate and convince persuasively.

Although sometimes the word rhetoric or rhetorical are used in a derogatory or critical manner to suggest artificiality in speech where there is no real substance indicating no real material within ’empty rhetoric’, rhetorical speech is in itself powerful as a tool that can turn an ordinary speech into an interesting one (Crystal, 1995). There are many ways in which a particular text is made effective and the structuring of entire paragraphs and full texts is one of the fundamental ways by which the speaker captures the attention of the audience. However, the main emphasis of a good speech should be to convey a message or an important piece of information with the rhetorical elements coming in later.

Aims and Objectives

The aim of this essay is to examine the rhetorical features in powerful political speeches of leaders. In this instance we will analyze the speeches of George Bush, Tony Blair and Osama Bin Laden. The different features of rhetoric include the repetition of keywords, thoughts or phrases; enumeration of the main points and ideas; cumulation or adding words consecutively that sounds similar to give a rhythmic effect; allusions which are indirect references to situations outside the present; and adding rhetorical questions and using inclusive language.

Brief Outline and Aims, Reasons of Analysis

In this essay, we will first briefly discuss the features of rhetorical language, the special characteristics, the metaphors and analogies as well as the rhythmic nature of speech used. Rhetorical language implies a kind of speech that has art, elegance, is persuasive and convincing to listeners with both style and content that make such speech impressive and unforgettable. Figurative language can be comprised of figures of speech that are rhetorical figures or schemes which are different from normal language mainly in order of words or syntax .

Our aims, objectives and reasons of analysis are mainly a theoretical interest in the comparative effectiveness of speeches by Bush, Blair and Bin Laden. The use of rhetoric is seen in all the speeches as we will discuss and for every speech we will consider the rhetorical features prominent and how they may have been effective in producing an impact on the audience.

Analysis of speeches