Marcus Tullius Cicero's Speeches

Decent Essays

Throughout the ages, leaders have spoken out during times of crisis to try and unite people. Marcus Tullius Cicero and George W. Bush are no exception to this trope. In Cicero’s first speech against Catiline, he related the horrible crimes Catiline was planning to commit. During his tenure in office, Bush experienced a terrorist event on September 11, 2001, when the world trade center had been destroyed, and he addressed Congress on this matter nine days later. While Cicero’s speech entails an event that was foiled, Bush’s speech provides facts and support in the aftermath of a traumatic situation. In this essay, I am going to compare the rhetorical devices implemented by both individuals, how they are able to develop their arguments, and some …show more content…

Cicero uses word choices with negative connotations to bring his point across about Catiline. For instance, he states that “I find it unendurable that you should still be here: unendurable, intolerable, impermissible” (Cicero), and later he says “You supplemented that ghastly deed by another so appalling that it is scarcely believable” (Cicero). By highlighting certain words like unendurable and repeating them, Cicero created a memorable line for anyone watching the trial. Bush, on the other hand, uses simple language to instill his message by short statements, such as “Great harm has been done to us. We have suffered great loss. And in our grief and anger we have found our mission and our moment” (Bush). This easy language would have been understood by anyone listening to his speech. Bush also uses the negative connotation of the terror attack causing “grief and anger” to have a positive result in creating a “mission.” This language works as a way to bind people together to have a purpose going forward after this terrible event. Cicero and Bush utilize different sentence structure as well. Cicero uses varied sentence structures. He occasionally starts his thought with a short sentence that transitions to a longer sentence, and then ends with another short sentence. Bush, on the other hand, generally uses short sentences, but he …show more content…

Cicero and Bush have analogous ethos and pathos, as they were both leaders in their communities, and their listeners would have been shocked to hear about the events entailed in both of their speeches. Cicero and Bush also have different perspectives in their arguments. Cicero relies on his first-hand experience in the matter, as Catiline planned to kill him. This allows him to connect with his audience on a personal level. Meanwhile, Bush did not have to convince his audience that an event was going to take place. Instead, he was able to put blame on a specific group for the terrorist act, and provide information about their tactics and connections. This strategy works to inform the public about possible future dangers. The strategies that Cicero and Bush employ in their language diverge as well. Cicero tends to repeat words with negative connotations, so that it would be ingrained in people’s minds, while Bush tends to use simpler language that everyone can understand. However, they both use questions in their speeches to switch ideas and catch the attention of their listeners. They also both employ opposing language in their speeches to distinguish right from wrong. While these two individuals both address disturbing historical events in their speeches, they present their material in the most effective way to suit their

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