President Obama 's First Speech Essay

828 Words Mar 23rd, 2016 4 Pages
After applying Burke’s pentad to President Obama’s first speech, I identified the following elements:

Scene: Environment after the chemical weapons violation in Syria
Agent: President Barack Obama (acting as Commander in Chief)
Act: Proposed military strikes against Assad’s regime
Agency: Approval through a vote in Congress
Purpose: Bring about justice while strengthening the United State’s democracy and national security

After Assad’s regime used sarin against civilians in Syria, it created the scene and situation President Obama was forced to confront as the agent. He proposed an action—military strikes against Assad—that according to the stated decisions in his speech, needed to first be approved through a vote in Congress (acting, in this case, as the agency). The purpose of this act and its agency, as President Obama alludes to throughout the speech, would bring about justice to the Assad regime and strengthen the United States’ national security and democracy because “our democracy is stronger when the President and the people’s representatives stand together.” The ratio that stood out to me the most was the agency’s influence on the purpose. As President Obama states, he believes that he has the authority to carry out the strikes (act) without congressional authorization, but he chooses how (agency) these strikes are authorized due to his belief that “the country will be stronger if we take this course, and our actions will be more effective” (a portion…

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