Rhetorical Analysis of Four Articles Upon Princess Diana’s Death Essay Sample

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Princess Diana of Wales was killed in a car accident in Paris, France in 1997. She was divorced from England’s Prince Charles and a mother to Princes William and Harry. In her life, she was known for her philanthropy and her marriage with the Prince. The accident was known around the world and many newspapers and news programs wrote articles about the late Princess’s death. The Queen of England and Princess Diana’s brother Lord Spencer spoke about the Princess in a televised speech and her eulogy at the funeral service.

The first article reporting of the Princess’s death was from the British Broadcasting Company (BBC) on August 31, 1997, the morning of the crash. This article tells the basic information known at the time of Princess Diana’s death. The subject is the death of the Princess of Wales, the audience is the people who want to be informed of news in Britain, and the speaker is the British Broadcasting Company. The purpose of this article is to inform the public of the death of a well-known, well-liked person. This article is rhetorically effective because of the simplicity of how the speaker wrote the news report.

This report also elicits pathos because of the last line in the report that says “Hundreds of mourners have gathered…, and many have laid flowers at the gates.” Ethos was shown in the sentence “Prince Charles broke the news of their mother’s death to Prince William and Harry at Balmoral Castle in Scotland where the royal family has been spending the summer.” Logos is not established because the exact author of the report is unknown at this time; therefore, character cannot be established. This article was written in stuffy style. An example of the stuffy style is “The accident happened after the princess left the Ritz Hotel… Mohammed Al Fayed.” This article was rhetorically effective for the intended audience.

On September 5, 1997, Queen Elizabeth spoke publically on the death of her daughter-in-law. This speech given by the Queen is completely emotional and evokes mainly pathos because of the sadness that the audience feels while reading/ listening to this speech. The speaker is Queen Elizabeth, the audience is anyone watching the televised speech, and the subject is the remembrance of Diana. The intent of the Queens’ speech is to pay tribute to late Diana and also thank everyone for the flowers, messages, and respects paid to Diana. I believe that the speech was rhetorically effective because of the emotion that the speaker conveys. Logos is established because we know that the speaker is the Queen of England. However, pathos is the most common in this speech. The Queen is distressed about the death of a family member, and it shows in her speech. The speech is written in a sweet style. Examples of this are “So what I say to you now, as your queen and as a grandmother, I say from my heart.”, and, “I share in your determination to cherish her memory.”

Diana’s brother, Earl Spencer, gave a eulogy for her on September 6, 1997. In the eulogy he speaks of how much Diana meant to the people of not only England, but also the people of the world. Within the speech, the Earl becomes passionate about his sister and the things that she did during her life. One example that he gave was that on her birthday, she did not celebrate the day but instead was the guest of honor at a charity fundraising event. The speaker is Earl Spencer, the brother of the late Princess. The audience is all of the people who are mourning the death of Princess Diana, which according to his speech, would be the family, the nation, and the world. The subject would be the general goodness of Diana and how the paparazzi/media affected Diana and her children. However, the eulogy was not rhetorically effective because sections of it were off the topic of Diana. The eulogy was also used to increase Earl Spencer’s political standing in the country. Ethos and pathos were shown the most in Diana’s eulogy spoken by Earl Spencer. This speech is written in a stuffy style because of the length and detail of the sentences.

The final entry is a Wikipedia Article accessed on September 15, 2006. This entry has the headings “Controversy” and “Final Resting Place” and also tells more previously unknown information than the other pieces. This entry lacks ethos and pathos because people are able to edit it, so it is non-credible and un-emotional. The writing style of the Wikipedia entry is tough style because of how straight forward the writing is. It is also written in an 8th grade reading level. The audience is anyone on the internet that wants to learn about Diana and the speaker is unknown. The subject is the life and death of Diana. I found this piece rhetorically effective because of the simplicity of the writing, without the very long sentences as in Earl Spencer’s speech.

The articles and news reports on the death of Princess Diana were taken the hardest by those close to her. The speeches given by the Queen and Diana’s brother show this through the pathos that is conveyed within their speech. The newspaper article and the Wikipedia entry do not have ethos as the speeches do, but instead use logos more within the texts.

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