A Rhetorical Analysis of George W. Bush’s National Eulogies

  • Marta Rzepecka University of Rzeszów, Poland
Keywords: eulogy, presidential rhetoric, George W. Bush, 9/11 attacks, space shuttle, Columbia disaster, Hurricane Katrina


This article offers a critique of President George W. Bush’s national eulogies for the victims of the World Trade Center and Pentagon attacks, the space shuttle Columbia disaster, and Hurricane Katrina. It addresses the problem of limited research of multiple eulogies from the same president. The article examines the eulogies in two phases: first, it places the speeches within the exigencies and constraints of the situations in which they were drafted and delivered and, then, it analyzes their construction using two frameworks, one developed by Michael Robert Dennis and Adrianne Kunkel and the other designed by Kathleen Hall Jamieson and Karlyn Kohrs Campbell. The examination centers around the translation of the theory on the genre of the national eulogy into practice, the most prevalent components and characteristics in the eulogies, and the rhetorical effect of the eulogies, understood in terms of achieving the goals defined by the genre.

Author Biography

Marta Rzepecka, University of Rzeszów, Poland
Marta Rzepecka graduated from Maria Curie-Skłodowska University in Lublin, Poland, with a Ph.D. in American Literature. She is affiliated with the University of Rzeszów. She holds three research stipends and grants from Freie Universität, the Kosciuszko Foundation, and the Society for Historians of American Foreign Relations. She was an intern at the University of Leicester and the University of South Florida. Her main research interest has been rhetoric and the American presidency. She can be reached at: marta.rzepecka@ur.edu.pl.