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Speech and Rhetorical Studies Commons

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Theses/Dissertations

Eastern Illinois University

Creative Writing

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Full-Text Articles in Speech and Rhetorical Studies

Robert Frost And Maya Angelou: Poet-As-Rhetor In The Presidential Inauguration: Textual Symbols And The Symbol Of Enactment, Donna M. Witmer Jan 1994

Robert Frost And Maya Angelou: Poet-As-Rhetor In The Presidential Inauguration: Textual Symbols And The Symbol Of Enactment, Donna M. Witmer

Masters Theses

This criticism uses an organic approach to examine the rhetorical properties of Frost's and Angelou's inaugural poems and their individual enactments respective of the constraints and exigencies in the Presidential inaugurations of Kennedy and Clinton. Apparently responding to the constraints of television's sound bite as well as to exigencies of the traditional inauguration and the need to serve a new generation and a culturally diverse population, the Clinton Administration combined the poetic form, used to heighten an emotional response, with an enactment as a synecdochic symbol, used to assert sociopolitical ideology.