Address analysis – Redeanalyse in Englisch

Im Folgenden ist eine stichwortartige Redeanalyse als Beispiel für derartige Arbeiten zu finden. Hilfreich für diese sind auch die Artikel „Nützliche Ausdrücke“, „Richtiges Zitieren“ und „Stilistische Mittel“. Die zu analysierende Rede (über Google leicht zu finden) hielt Barack Obama, der derzeitige amerikanische Präsident, nach seinem ersten großen Vorwahlsieg am 8. Januar 2008; somit also noch vor seiner wirklichen Wahl zum Präsidenten.


The address “America, yes we can!”, given by the current US-American president Barack Obama on January 8, 2008 in New Hampshire, examines the problems America has to face today and it simultaneously demonstrates the necessary steps that have to be taken.


  • Obama wants to call the audience’s attention with a direct address at the beginning of his speech (“you can be the majority…”)
  • his frequent use of personal pronouns, such as ‘our’ and ‘us’, gives the audience the feeling that he does not regard himself as superior to them, but as one of them
  • he puts emphasis on the meaning of his words by using parallel sentence structure (‘no problem we can’t solve no destiny we cannot fulfill’)
  • to stress the importance of a change he includes every population group by enumerating contrasts -> forms a unity, feeling of togetherness (‘doctors and patients; workers and businesses, Democrats and Republicans together’)
  • referring to a well-known historical event Obama uses a metonymy* (‘9/11’)
  • he attempts to win the listeners attention by stating his aims for his potential future term in office
  • he uses paratactic sentences and develops his argumentation step by step
  • being aware of some current problems in the USA he enumerates a few of them, he admits that finding solutions could take a long time, lists the problems as duties he wants to approach (‘terrorism and nuclear weapons; climate change and poverty; genocide and disease’)
  • he concentrates on the fact that it won’t be easy, but America has passed it once (in the past) and he encourages the nation to have hope and will power
  • with the repetition of the parole ‘Yes, we can’ Obama animates the audience
  • he increases the tension of his speech by repeating the parole (9x ‘Yes, we can’)
  • He puts emphasis on the need of strong creed by using many anaphors (‘It was a creed… It was whispered … It was sung by … It was the call of …’)

further stylistic devices:

stylistic deviceexample
imagerycorridors of shame (l. 15)
metaphorspolitical darkness (ll. 1,2), a seat at the table (l. 11)
anaphorsNot this time. Not now. (l. 12)
alliterationdivision, distraction, disagree (ll. 3,4)
historical eventsfounding documents (. 39), slaves and abolitionists (l. 41), immigrants (l. 43)
idiomdishwasher (l. 52)
parallelismthat we are one people; that we are one nation (ll. 55, 56)


All in all, Obama clearly states his aims and expectations for his future position.

I would like to point out that Obamas parole ‘Yes, we can’ has become very famous and with his diplomatic and sympathetic appearance he persuaded many Americans. Not for nothing he became president of the USA in 2008.

*metonymy = the act of referring to sth. by the name of sth. else that is closely connected with it

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