Rhetorical Artifact Critique

RhetoricalArtifact Critique


Theartifact and its content

BarackObama made history in 2012 by not only being the only AfricanAmerican President but also for being so for two successive terms.Obama triumphed over Mitt Romney in a hard-fought race especially ata time when Americans were very indecisive on the direction to take(Blake,2012).Obama assured an exciting future, with progressive ideas, unlikeRomney, who mainly relied on traditional values. Blake (2012), goeson to say that one group wanted America to be restored based onmorals, values, and economic structures while the others wanted tochange for America. In this paper, there is a pentadic examination ofPresident Barack Obama’s speech and interpret what it conveys onsub conscience and rhetorical conscience level.

Thepentadic analysis style

Itwas founded by Kenneth Burke and to use it one first identifies fivemajor elements of the artifact. These components highlight theprimary motivations behind what the speaker talks about. They include(Kelley,2011):

  1. Act-that which is happening in the artifact

  2. Agent-the person executing the acts

  3. Agency-the manner in which the acts are conveyed

  4. Scene- the setting of the acts

  5. Purpose-relevance of the acts

Afterfinding answers to the above, this paper will briefly review each ofthem and highlight the two vital components that reveal theartifact’s main subject.

Analysisof the findings


Itaims to reinstate the faith of America in both Obama and the UnitedStates. According to Blake (2012), Obama brings out a picture of howhe views America and the way he wants the Americans to consider it.The key element of the act of the speech is moving forward whichObama talks of severally (Kelley,2011).He assures that the nation moves forward because of the people, forreaffirming the spirit which helped them triumph over depression andwar, that which helped uplift the state from despair and elevatedthem to high hopes. Another significance of the act in the artifactis the creation of unity among the citizens and also thanking themfor the hard work during the entire campaign period.


Itemphasizes the person involved with generating the particularmessage. Key features portrayed to enhance credibility areconsidered. Many agents are portrayed in Obama’s speech as he tellsstories concerning the Americans (Blake,2012).He recounts the struggles of the Americans, talks about people optingto reduce their working hours than have a friend lose a job. Anotheragent is the audience to whom Obama clarifies that they owe a duty totheir nation which doesn’t end at the polls. They shouldn’t waitto have things done for them but should struggle and work togethereven though it is hard and frustrating. The significance is grantedto the citizens who are called upon to do their part for the countryto move forward. He goes ahead to refer to them as a family to echothe significance of togetherness and its long-term positive impact.


Itdiscusses how the characters are portrayed and the way the message isconveyed that advances the motivation for the artifact (Kuypers,2009).Obama employs a sequence of his own stories and remembers thememories of his campaigns that reinforce the sense of patriotism,passion, and excitement among the citizens. He talks about inclusionseverally hence gives the idea into his expectations for America inthe future. He hopes for a tolerant, generous, and compassionateAmerica hence furthers desire of moving forward.


Thescene of all this is America regarded as the epicenter or centralstage where all this is happening. He goes tells the audience of someaccounts of places in America which promotes the concept oftogetherness and have instilled in each other the pride of belonging.He takes into account every individual whether they have small or bigdreams and urges them to surge forward (Kuypers,2009).It, therefore, means he not only created a sense of being togetherbut also embraced the idea of boundless potentials.


Thisasks why, that is, the inspiration of the words spoken. The purposeis clear as it calls upon everyone to move ahead into a differentgeneration and era of America. The movement will enable them clear upthe messes and become better people through the creation of manyopportunities, and striving to attain a prosperous and brighterfuture. Obama calls upon them to put aside their differences andfocus on what unites them, for example, best schools for their kidswith good teachers. They should live as per their legacy of theworldwide leader in innovation and technology (Blake,2012).Generally, this summarizes the whole goal of the drama to inspire allAmericans in moving forward to build a better country for themselvesand their kids in the near future.


Theparamount ratio for this artifact among the five elements of pentadicanalysis is act and purpose. It entails the action conveyed by thenarrator and the reason behind this. From the concept of Act Obamatraversed the entire article with the idea of moving forward and theimportance of doing so. Every act has a motive and purpose and forthis case, the motive is to inspire and motivate the Americans. Adynamic ratio aims to highlight the entire message being conveyed.Blake (2012) approves that President Obama’s acceptance speechpurposes to usher in a different Obama era which would ensureeveryone that their goals are met. He created the act to ensure hisgoal is met and just as the pentadic technique that reinforces thegeneral message being delivered.


PresidentObama’s acceptance speech for his 2ndtime as the US president stated his goals clearly to reassure,encourage, and motivate the American people that they were justifiedto have faith in him. He wanted the citizens to work together withthe government hence create the best America. In his conclusion,Obama summarizes the entire speech as well as his general initiativeas president. He wanted to keep their founder’s promises, bewilling to work tirelessly and where one is or where they come fromdidn’t matter, and all were deemed to succeed as long as they arein America and willing to try. The speech accomplished its aim toencourage and motivate. He did this by applying precise examples ofstories concerning the Americans and painting their country withendless prospects and possibilities. Using Burke’s Pentadicanalysis, I have fragmented the principal features of the drama andthe main ratio that finishes up the entire portion defining how thedrama was framed by the narrator and its reception by the audience.


Blake,D. (2012). PresidentObama’s Acceptance Speech 2012 Transcript Text (The Video ofVictory Speech).TheChristianPost.Retrieved 1 March 2016, fromhttp://www.christianpost.com/news/president-obama-acceptance-speech-2012-transcript-text-video-of-victory-speech-84544/

Kelley,M. (2011). Carnivalesqueenculturation: Rhetoric, play, and &quotWabbit Literacy&quot.The University of Arizona.

Kuypers,J. (2009). Rhetoricalcriticism.Lanham, MD: Lexington Books.