Masaryk university faculty of education

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When examining each speech in detail, it is apparent that there is a general topicalization that every speech is loosely following. Clearly, there are certain unofficial criteria that are fitting for making a crisis-like announcement. A speaker has to state the purpose of the speech, declare what needs to be declared and presumably justify what was declared. While some parts of the speech are considered inherent to the speech’s coherence, others, like background information, explication of justification, appeal to patriotism and nationalism or charting the future are rather voluntary. According to Benjamin, “a presidential war message may serve multiple functions” and may present various choices in terms of length, detail or emphasis, depending on the context, gravity of the situation and of course speaker’s personal choice. (p. 81) Presumably, unlike the inaugural address and the State of the Union address, which “stand out as principle genres of ‘obligatory’ rhetoric that are powerfully constrained by custom and ritual” (Lim, p. 330), war crisis speeches should not contain such a rigid and prescribed composition.

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