Rhetorical Criticism Essays

1883 Words Sep 21st, 2013 8 Pages
Pentadic analysis incorporates five basic elements of drama called pentads. These include act (what is being done), agent (who is doing the act), agency (the means employed by the agent to do the act), scene (the backdrop against which the act occurred), and the purpose of the action (the reason why it happened). Act is the artifact itself whatever it may be such as speech, poem, monument, event, etc as it stands for what is actually being done or happening. Agent refers to the main communicator of the artifact which could be an actor, orator, writer or manager of the act. Agency refers to the main medium of communication which includes a book or televised film, presentation or personal communication. Scene is the backdrop against which …show more content…
This analysis will attempt to discuss the reasons underlying the rhetorical choices made by the orator in his speech, the motives he was guided by and what he actually said or did.
Act
The act refers to what is being done and this quite simply incorporates the contents of the speech and the way they are presented. In this speech, Obama was responding to the great attention garnered by the highly sensationalist comments of the Reverend Jeremiah Wright who was, until recently, his pastor and an active member of his campaign team. The contents of the speech included talk on the sensitive and controversial topics of racial tensions which existed across different ethnicities and races in United States, the white privilege which implies that white people enjoy many privileges at the expense of the hardships experienced by the colored people, inequality and justice, framing his speech against the wider spectrum of the issue of race which exists in the United States. It speaks out boldly about the ‘original sin of slavery’ which led to the creation of concepts of racial superiority and inferiority, bigotry and fixated stereotypes which have fed our national psyches till today. Even while condemning Reverend Wright’s racially discriminatory remarks, he yet attempts to not exactly defend, but portray him in a softer light as a man who introduced him to his Christian faith,

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