Rhetorical Analysis of Ellen DeGeneres's Commencement Speech Essay

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Ellen’s Commencement Speech Rhetorical Analysis Graduation caps fly into the air, cheers erupt, and diplomas are received. This is a typical graduation day. Not only did these ceremonial events take place for Tulane University's class of 2009, but Ellen DeGeneres was there to congratulate them as well! This class was dubbed the "Katrina Class" for being survivors of the devastating Hurricane Katrina in 2005. Katrina was named one of the deadliest Hurricanes, causing more than 1,836 deaths. Tulane University is located in New Orleans, Louisiana, where the most significant amount of deaths took place and 80 percent of the city was destroyed. These graduates have survived a lot , and Ellen wants to congratulate them on their…show more content…
Most graduates have a lot of stress and worry about their futures, the uncertainty of where they are going or what they will become. Ellen is relatable when she tells the graduates how she didn’t know who shes was, considering that, she was still dating men. Another use of a rhetorical question “But why am I here today?” to introduce an anecdote about her growing up in New Orleans. This question takes the audience’s attention back to her, because, consequently, they know that Ellen will explain why she is there; giving them a reason to listen to her words. Once again, Ellen asks “What else can happen to you?” in order to commend the graduates of having success after the tragedy of Hurricane Katrina. She uses the hyperbole and rhetorical question, “So what I’m saying is, when you’re older, a lot of you will be gay. Anyone writing this stuff down? Parents?” this keeps everybody’s attention and loops the parents into relating the commencement speech to them as well. Rhetorical questions help Ellen by giving the crowd small moments to reflect and invites them into her speech, connecting to them and allowing them to smile during serious content.
Furthermore, the use of hyperbole and metaphors are effective in this commencement speech. Ellen uses a hyperbole when she rationalizes her anxiety about the success of her sitcom after the public realize that she is gay. Ellen worried about this because in recent times, the

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