Presidential Speeches and Ciceronian Rhetoric

Presidential Speeches and Ciceronian Rhetoric
Cicero wrote the In Catilinam in 63 B.C. Presidents – or their speechwriters – are still writing and delivering
speeches…effectively or ineffectively? Here is your chance to make Cicero’s style of the first century B. C.
relevant to American politics and life. For the rest of your life, you will never hear a president speak without
thinking about HOW he or she is speaking. (Now name THAT figure of speech.)
So here’s the assignment:
Find the speech of a president that intrigues, excites, baffles you. Read this speech with an eye to purpose and
literary figures of speech. Prepare to teach this speech to the class. Think about how you enjoy being taught.
Do you like lecture? Do you like interactive discussions? Do you like worksheets? How do you learn best?
Find a way to make the speech and the president you teach us most memorable.
You must use a presidential speech. (Gettysburg you do as juniors, so I think we’ll have to pass on that
You must project your speech or bring in a copy for everyone. You may choose certain parts of the
speech, rather than an entire speech.
You must teach your speech in an engaging, interesting, riveting way.
You must make sure that your speech has a bunch of rhetorical devices.
You must have fun. 
Presentation of these speeches will be on Friday, January 25, 2013.