Here are the elements which will help with your analysis of Joe Biden’s Inaugural Address.

The rhetorical situation shows that the speaker is Joe Biden, the 46th president of the United States. The audience consists of the people who attended the inauguration – a limited number because of the Covid-19 pandemic – and the people who watched the televised broadcast of the inauguration. 

The composition of the speech shows that it focuses on highlighting the severity of the current challenges the United States is facing and asking the audience to stand united. The ending looks to the future and inspires hope in the audience that the United States can become a better country through hard work and unity.

The style of language of the speech is formal and projects an authoritative and knowledgeable impression. The sentences are short or of middle length, showing that Biden has a distinct message he wants to transmit to the audience as clearly as possible. 

The use of rhetorical devices helps to make the speech more engaging and to highlight the theme of unity. For example, repetitions are used to feature key points in a memorable way. 

In terms of forms of appeal, Biden uses mostly pathos to stir emotions in his audience, but he also borrows ethos from other presidents in order to inspire confidence. 

You can read a full analysis of the speech in the next pages. 

Speech analysis

I denne vejledning får du Studienets hjælp til, hvordan du analyserer, diskuterer og perspektiverer en tale (speech eller address) i engelskfaget. Kort fortalt handler det typisk om, at du skal lave en retorisk analyse af talen.