Alexander The Great: a Rhetorical Analysis

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About this sample

About this sample


Words: 615 |

Page: 1|

4 min read

Published: Mar 20, 2024

Words: 615|Page: 1|4 min read

Published: Mar 20, 2024

Table of contents

  1. Background
  2. Rhetorical Devices
  3. Impact and Legacy
  4. Conclusion

Alexander the Great, also known as Alexander III of Macedon, was one of the most influential and successful military leaders in history. His conquests and the impact he had on the ancient world have been subjects of fascination and study for centuries. This essay will provide a rhetorical analysis of Alexander the Great's famous speech to his army at the Hyphasis River, examining the persuasive techniques he used to motivate his soldiers and achieve his goals.

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Before delving into the rhetorical analysis of Alexander's speech, it is important to provide some background information on the context in which the speech was delivered. In 326 BC, after years of successful military campaigns, Alexander and his army reached the Hyphasis River, near the edge of the Indian subcontinent. His soldiers, weary from years of relentless warfare and eager to return home, were hesitant to continue the march into unknown and potentially hostile territory. Sensing their reluctance, Alexander called for a meeting and delivered a speech that aimed to inspire and rally his troops for one final push.

Rhetorical Devices

Throughout his speech, Alexander utilized several rhetorical devices to effectively communicate his message and persuade his soldiers to continue the journey. One prominent device he employed was the use of ethos, or establishing his credibility and character. Alexander reminded his soldiers of their shared experiences and victories, emphasizing his own personal sacrifices and commitment to their shared cause. By doing so, he appealed to their sense of loyalty and duty, positioning himself as a trustworthy and respected leader whose guidance should be unquestioningly followed.

Additionally, Alexander made strategic use of pathos, or appealing to the emotions of his audience. He evoked feelings of camaraderie and unity among his troops, emphasizing their shared hardships and victories. He spoke of the glory and riches that awaited them in the distant lands they were about to conquer, tapping into their desires for fame and wealth. By appealing to their emotions, Alexander created a sense of collective purpose and excitement, igniting their passion and determination to press forward.

Furthermore, Alexander employed logos, or logical reasoning, to make a compelling case for continuing the journey. He presented a strategic analysis of the geographical and political landscape, highlighting the potential benefits of further conquests and the risks of retreat. He reasoned that turning back would tarnish their legacy and diminish their achievements, while pushing forward would secure their place in history as conquerors of the known world. By appealing to reason and logic, Alexander sought to convince his soldiers that their continued efforts were not only necessary but also the most rational course of action.

Impact and Legacy

Alexander's speech at the Hyphasis River had a profound impact on his army, as they ultimately agreed to continue the march into India. His rhetorical prowess and ability to inspire and motivate his soldiers played a crucial role in maintaining their loyalty and determination throughout his conquests. The legacy of Alexander's leadership and persuasive abilities can be seen in the enduring admiration and study of his life and accomplishments, as well as in the lasting impact of his empire on the ancient world.

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In conclusion, Alexander the Great's speech at the Hyphasis River exemplifies his skillful use of rhetorical devices to effectively communicate his message and persuade his soldiers to continue their journey. By appealing to ethos, pathos, and logos, he established his credibility, appealed to their emotions, and presented a logical case for their continued efforts. His speech serves as a testament to the power of effective communication and leadership, as well as the enduring legacy of one of history's greatest military leaders.

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This essay was reviewed by
Dr. Charlotte Jacobson

Cite this Essay

Alexander The Great: a Rhetorical Analysis. (2024, March 20). GradesFixer. Retrieved May 30, 2024, from
“Alexander The Great: a Rhetorical Analysis.” GradesFixer, 20 Mar. 2024,
Alexander The Great: a Rhetorical Analysis. [online]. Available at: <> [Accessed 30 May 2024].
Alexander The Great: a Rhetorical Analysis [Internet]. GradesFixer. 2024 Mar 20 [cited 2024 May 30]. Available from:
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