Comparing Leonardo Dicaprio's Speech with that if George Bush

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About this sample

About this sample


Words: 1599 |

Pages: 4|

8 min read

Published: Mar 14, 2019

Words: 1599|Pages: 4|8 min read

Published: Mar 14, 2019

Table of contents

  1. Introduction
  2. George W. Bush's Persuasive Techniques
  3. Leonardo DiCaprio's Persuasive Techniques
  4. Conclusion


This essay delves into the rhetorical techniques employed by two influential figures, George W. Bush and Leonardo DiCaprio, in their respective speeches. Bush's speech, delivered in the aftermath of the 9/11 attacks, aimed to rally and unite the American people against terrorism, while DiCaprio's spontaneous address at the 2016 Oscars focused on raising awareness about climate change. By examining these speeches through the lens of antithesis, pathos, logos, ethos, analogies, metaphors, propaganda, imagery, personal pronouns, and rhetorical devices, we can gain insights into the persuasive power and impact of their words.

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George W. Bush's Persuasive Techniques

George W. Bush's post-9/11 speech is characterized by a range of persuasive techniques. He starts with a calm and empathetic tone, addressing the tragic events and expressing solidarity with the American people. As a world leader, he maintains an authoritative posture, sitting upright at his desk in the White House, projecting strength. His choice of attire, a business suit, adds to his professionalism.

Pathos plays a pivotal role in Bush's speech, as he endeavors to connect emotionally with his audience. He employs antithesis when he states, "terrorist attacks can shake the foundation of our biggest buildings, but they cannot touch the foundation of America." This powerful metaphor highlights America's resilience and unity, appealing to the audience's emotions.

Bush also employs logos to convey facts and urgency, referencing the tragic events with phrases like "pictures of airplanes flying into buildings." He reassures the audience by mentioning the swift implementation of the government's emergency response plan, fostering trust.

Ethos is strategically utilized by Bush to appeal to the audience's ethical values. He speaks of human values and the freedom of America, invoking a sense of shared ethics (Wang, 2012). Anaphora is employed to emphasize the collective impact of the tragedy, using "our" as a personal pronoun to underline the shared experience (Crutcher, 2012).

Analogies and metaphors enrich Bush's speech, such as describing America as a "brightest beacon for freedom" and asserting, "they cannot dent the steel of American resolve." These literary devices make his speech more engaging and evoke hope in the face of adversity.

Furthermore, Bush employs propaganda by mentioning the military and federal agents, reassuring the audience of their safety. His use of imagery, like "pictures of airplanes flying into buildings," vividly paints a mental picture of the events. The inclusion of a Bible verse, "Psalm 23: even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I fear no evil for you are with me," adds a personal touch and offers comfort, appealing to the audience's emotions.

By consistently using personal pronouns like "our nation," Bush ensures the speech's personal connection with the audience. This fosters a sense of unity and shared responsibility, as seen in his statement, "we stand together to win the war against terrorism."

Leonardo DiCaprio's Persuasive Techniques

Leonardo DiCaprio's 2016 Oscars speech, though primarily an expression of gratitude, transitions into a persuasive plea for climate change awareness. His tone is confident yet humble, with a calm and casual delivery, establishing a connection with the audience.

Pathos is evident in DiCaprio's speech as he expresses his gratitude, using personal pronouns like "my brother in this endeavor," creating an emotional connection with Tom Hardy. He emphasizes his concern for the underprivileged with phrases like "for the billions and billions of underprivileged people," aiming to evoke empathy.

DiCaprio employs logos when he presents factual information about climate change, referring to 2015 as the hottest year in recorded history. This factual basis strengthens his argument and underscores the urgency of the issue.

Ethos is established by DiCaprio when he appeals to the broader audience watching at home, emphasizing the suffering of people worldwide. Repetition is used more in his thank-you speech, enhancing the emotional impact.

Adjectives like "transcendent" and "urgent" amplify the importance of his message. The use of the term "species" maintains professionalism and seriousness.

DiCaprio invokes pathos by highlighting the devastating effects of climate change, with a focus on the future generation, saying, "for our children's children." The stress on "children" underscores his concern for future generations and seeks to resonate with the audience.


Both George W. Bush and Leonardo DiCaprio employed various rhetorical techniques to convey their messages effectively. Bush's post-9/11 speech employed a range of strategies such as antithesis, pathos, logos, ethos, analogies, metaphors, propaganda, imagery, and personal pronouns to rally and unite the American people during a time of crisis. DiCaprio, in his 2016 Oscars speech, seamlessly shifted from gratitude to persuasive advocacy for climate change awareness, utilizing pathos, logos, ethos, repetition, and adjectives to connect with his audience and inspire action.

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While Bush's speech aimed to reassure and unite, DiCaprio's spontaneous address challenged the audience to reflect on their responsibility in addressing climate change. Both speeches, in their own ways, effectively used rhetoric to influence and inspire their respective audiences.

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This essay was reviewed by
Dr. Charlotte Jacobson

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Comparing Leonardo Dicaprio’s Speech With That If George Bush. (2019, March 12). GradesFixer. Retrieved June 23, 2024, from
“Comparing Leonardo Dicaprio’s Speech With That If George Bush.” GradesFixer, 12 Mar. 2019,
Comparing Leonardo Dicaprio’s Speech With That If George Bush. [online]. Available at: <> [Accessed 23 Jun. 2024].
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