Rhetorical Criticism of Cross

Essay by EssaySwap ContributorUniversity, Bachelor's February 2008

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William Jennings BryanCross of Gold Speech Let's begin by analyzing and explaining the theory of metaphoric criticism. A metaphor, as defined by Aristotle, is the transference of a name from the object to which it has a natural application. A metaphor is decoration, ornamentation, and figurative language to a rhetor. They are not needed but create unordinary speech. Metaphors serve as heuristic tools for suggesting new hypothesis, new areas of research, and new research strategies. They also function as rhetorical devices for communicating ideas. Let's consider uses of metaphor as tools for thought and communication. The tool function of metaphor is to extend the capacity of active memory using the medium speech; while the function of metaphor as a tool for thought…is to extend our capacities for perceiving relationships in the perceptual domain to the conceiving of relationships in the conceptual domain. A criticism is an analysis or finding a fault of something.

Together, the two definitions compose a metaphoric criticism. There are four steps to using metaphors as a unit of analysis; Formulating a research question and selecting an artifact, selecting a unit of analysis, analyzing the artifact, and writing the critical essay.

In applying the theories of metaphoric criticism, I will focus on two metaphors used throughout the "Cross of Gold" speech. The first use of metaphors is to convey violent acts to show the wrongfulness in changing the gold standard. Bryan refers back to fighting, contest, and war to show that the people are not going to go along with the government. Bryan speaks of "brother against brother, father against son" to show that part of the government is on the same level as the citizens and another part is above the rest. But when the citizens "clad in armor," they will be stronger and overcome...