Rhetorical Analysis Of Richard Nixon 's ' Checkers Speech ' Essay

1637 Words Oct 7th, 2016 7 Pages
Burke’s Pentadic Analysis of Richard Nixon’s “Checkers Speech”
In 1952, Vice Presidential candidate Richard Nixon made a speech on television to address the accusations of using campaign funds for use personal uses. Nixon addressed the issue in what has famously become known as the “Checkers Speech”. The half-hour speech was the first American political speech to be televised live for a national audience of around 60 million people (Byron). A 1999 poll of communication scholars ranked the address as the sixth most important American speech of the 20th century – close behind Martin Luther King, Jr., John F. Kennedy, and FDR (Huebner). Nixon’s Checkers Speech marked the beginning of the television age in American politics and had a lasting political impact. When analyzing speeches using rhetorical analysis.” Sonja K. Foss explains that we use rhetorical criticism as a way of “systematically investigating and explaining symbolic acts and artifacts for the purpose of understanding rhetorical processes (Foss, 9). While it is possible to analyze and critic this rhetorical artifact from a variety of perspectives and theories such as fantasy theme analysis or Aristotelian analysis, I have chosen to do a pentadic analysis of Richard Nixon’s Checker’s Speech and apply concepts from Kenneth Burke’s Theory of Dramatism. Kenneth Burke developed the idea of the pentad using dramatism to discover the roots of motivation for particular acts. The pentad contains five…

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