A comparative rhetorical analysis of the speeches of Queen Elizabeth II after Princess Diana’s death and about the coronavirus crisis

Rhetoric and Argumentation: Analyses, Trainings, Practices

Iglika Kassabova

City College and International Faculty of Sheffield University – Sofia

E-mail: iglika_kassabova@hotmail.com

Abstract: The article examines the verbal and visual rhetorics of the most prominent British royal Queen Elizabeth II during two of her most important speeches to the nation – the one after Princess Diana’s unexpected tragic death on September 5, 1997 and the one related on the coronavirus crisis in the country on April 05 2020. Both speeches will be analysed and rhetorically compared based on their communication context, genres, structures, arguments and rhetorical figures. The hypothesis is that both speeches invoke the nation’s spirit in times of uncertainty, sorrow and pain. The speeches are a contribution to rhetorical heritage and in particular to royal rhetoric in the modern world presenting and broadcasting appeals to million people and demonstrating model of rhetorical and media behaviour. At the same time video speeches are not only an instrument to send messages, they are an inseparable part of the reputation and image of Queen Elizabeth II and they show a model of how to explain values in difficult situation on personal and social levels.

Keywords: royal rhetoric, comparative rhetorical analysis, genres features, arguments and rhetorical figures.

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