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Princess Diana Dies in Paris Crash (BBC)

British Broadcasting Company is a respectable public broadcasting service whose audience is typically the general public, though especially directed to Britain. The main objective of this broadcast was to portray the death of Princess Diana, in an accurate and concise manner. The rhetorical style of this piece is projected toward mainly ethos and logos. Ethos is character, often in news publications and services, the objective to obtain credibility and integrity through practical knowledge of current events. BBC offers this through its popular reputation in the public media, offering free information easily. Logos, the offering of clear rational ideas, is obtained in the pivotal facts that are presented about Princess Diana’s death: time of mortality, location, etc. However, the broadcast digresses from the main objective, by interrupting with ethos by the effusive comments of “shocked and distressed mourners.


Queen Elizabeth’s Televised Speech

Queen Elizabeth’s speech initially incites ethos, strength of character, from her position as Britain’s monarch. Her speech is composed of pathos, her own sorrow at the event extending to members of the televised audience, sharing an sense of empathy in common grief. The objective is to “show to the world the British nation united in grief and respect.” She further extends pathos by mentioning the sympathy she and the audience has for those who are mourning around the world for Diana, civilians, friends, ad family included. She lists the admirable and respected qualities of Princess Diana, such as her ability to “inspire others with her warmth and kindness”, stating her reason for popularity as a humanitarian, and drawing humility from her respect.


Earl Spencer’s Eulogy for Diana

The speaker in the text is none other than the brother of the deceased subject, Lord Earl Spencer, Diana’s brother, to “a country in morning, before a world in shock.” As “the representative of a family in grief”, Spencer immediately evokes ethos, determining character by distancing himself as a lord, and becoming a fellow mourner, devastated at the lose of Diana. He creates a common unity and trustworthiness in his eulogy, establishing a connection between himself and the audience through a shared lamenting grief. His speech is imbibed in pathos, calling forth strong emotional reactions from the audience, by appealing to the universal concepts of family and pain. He further embodies ethos by drawing on the humanitarian aspects of Princess Diana’s life, her compassion and intervention in suffering, for which the audience treasures her.


Wikipedia Entry for Princess Diana

While Wikipedia is a poplar sub-culture website for easy-to-access information, is not always the most reliable source for accurate facts and specifics. This text immediately gains ethos, from its widespread reputation, fame granting instant public “authenticity.” Logos is stated in the general facts about Princess Diana, offering information about the crash, such as the date, the occupants of the car, etc., to the general internet- accessed community. Ethos is implied in the chosen material about the final resting place and the reactions of Diana’s mourners.



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