L10 Day-to-Day Rhetorical Criticism
Citizen-critics are not concerned only with old, dusty speeches. Rhetoric is alive and happening around us every day. Although it is tempting sometimes to focus on only speakers whom Loren Reid has described as “safely dead,” politics is occurring around us every moment. And we must make judgments about not only the proposals, but the manner in which the proposals are made, on an almost daily basis. Hundreds of speeches will be given today in this country; most of them will be immediately forgotten. But some of them will have lasting effects. All of them require our thoughtful judgment.
In this Lesson, we will practice being among the first to analyze a speech because the issues discussed are clear and present before us. Drawing on the methods we have developed thus far in the course, you will analyze a speech that has risen recently to prominence. This semester, you will analyze a speech from 2015, Viola Davis’ Acceptance Speech for the 2015 Emmy for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series. This speech is conspicuous, not only for its ideas, but for its quality of expression. As citizen-critics, we have a responsibility to attend to speeches like this and analyze them. That is our task in this lesson, and we focus on one of the more prominent characteristic of Ms. Davis’ speech: Style.
L10 Ceremonial Speech: Acceptance Speeches
View “2015 Emmy Acceptance Speech” by Viola Davis. Then complete the Lesson activities.