Master's Theses


Communication Studies

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


The purpose of this thesis was to provide an epideictic rhetorical analysis of President William Jefferson Clinton's Inaugural Address. As a method for analysis, the researcher employed Campbell and Jamieson's (1990) evaluative criteria that identified and constituted five interrelated elements of epideictic rhetoric in the presidential Inaugural Address. The researcher concluded that President Clinton's Inaugural Address: (a) unified the audience and reconstituted its members as the people; (b) rehearsed shared and traditional communal values drawn from a venerated past; (c) enunciated political principles that will govern the new administration; (d) demonstrated that the President appreciated the requirements and limitations of executive office; and, (e) fulfilled the requirements of epideictic discourse. The researcher determined that President William Jefferson Clinton's Inaugural Address represented epideictic communication because: (a) the Address was delivered on a ceremonial occasion; (b) the rhetoric expressed employed the artifices of praise and blame; (c) the speaker focused on the present, yet incorporated the past and the future; and, (d) the President urged contemplation, not action.


Willis M. Watt

Date of Award

Fall 1993

Document Type

Thesis - campus only access


© 1993 Nicholas H. Owen


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