PunditWire readers may recall my analysis of the intellectually and technically unsatisfactory speech by President Obama in Cairo. Now we have the first major overseas speech given by President Trump, delivered in Saudi Arabia at the heart of the ‘Islamic World’. How did he do?
If I felt a sense of accomplishment, I can only imagine how Wagner felt when he completed the work in 1874. He wrote the words and the score. It took him 26 years. For much of that time he endured poverty and neglect, illness and ridicule—with little help and little prospect that his masterpiece would ever be performed in its entirety. Continue reading Closing the Ring
“Logos (logic) and pathos (emotion) are self-explanatory, but ethos is more elusive. Essentially, ethos means building a bond with the audience, so that the audience will trust the speaker and be receptive to the speaker’s message.
To illustrate, I gave two particularly appropriate examples, about 60 years apart, of how two very different British prime ministers used ethos when they addressed a joint session of the U.S. Congress.”
Continue reading Anglo-American Speechwriting
March 15 marks the 100th anniversary of the abdication of Tsar Nicholas II of Russia.The milestone has attracted little notice. It is the opinion of most historians that Nicholas was a failure: feckless, dimwitted, reactionary—and henpecked to boot. But as Robert Massie makes clear in his admirable biography, Nicholas and Alexandra, the real Nicholas was more complex, more human and more interesting than the caricature.
The best indicator of the reverence that the British people had toward the monarchy at that particular moment in time was the eulogy that Laurence Olivier delivered on the death of George VI, Queen Elizabeth’s father, the previous year.