Essay: Compare and Contrast Rhetorical Methods of Criticism

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¶ … Rhetorical Methods of Critisism

The Neo-Aristotelian Method of Criticism seems indeed to be the best method of criticism for Obama's speech, for several reasons, the most important one being the fact that his speech seems to be constructed on the five canons of classical rhetoric that Aristotle has presented. First of all, the use of the invention element is essential in Obama's speech. The story he tells does not necessarily need to be true, but it is an excellent introduction and a way to lure the audience towards the real purpose of his speech, which only comes in the second part of the speech: the slogan that is supposed to carry the state of Virginia in Obama's camp.

The organization of the speech, as well as the style and delivery, were also important and only the Neo-Aristotelian Method of Criticism could properly emphasize that, as well as the role of all these elements into Obama's speech. With these three elements mentioned here, the audience can both be made part of Obama's experience (when he is telling the story about Greenwood, the audience can actually feel as if it is there, in the rain outside, meeting with the small five feet tall lady from the town), which comes to show why style is so important in the senator's speech.

At the same time, the method of delivery needs to be analyzed as well, because it shows the importance of body language, as well as of the methods by which the speech is doubled in intensity and importance exactly because of additional elements such as intonation or body language.

Finally, the last element of the Aristotelian framework, memory, is also fundamental in a complete analysis of the text. Obama uses the Greenwood story to ensure that the point he is trying to make (again, re-emphasized with the slogan that comes out of the story) remains in the collective memory of the crowd listening to him in Virginia.

As one can see, the Neo-Aristotelian Method of Criticism is the best method to be used here mainly because the elements that this method of criticism uses are essential in order to ensure the success of the speech. Knowingly or not, Obama uses all five categories from the method in passing on his messages, which means that the method of analysis itself will have a good chance of pointing out some of the key elements from the speech and make the reader (or audience ) best understand the underpinnings… [END OF PREVIEW]

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