Date Approved

2008

Degree Type

Open Access Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)

Department

Communication, Media and Theatre Arts

Committee Member

Raymond Quiel, Chair

Committee Member

Michael Tew, PhD

Committee Member

Doris Fields, PhD

Abstract

Focusing on the Bush Administration’s post-September 11 rhetoric, this thesis investigates the impact this rhetoric had on the Administration’s perceived credibility by the international community with specific focus on Germany’s, France’s, and Great Britain’s reactions. Of particular interest is the importance of eunoia (goodwill) as an aspect of the speaker’s ethos. Considering that goodwill has been viewed as the lost dimension of Aristotle’s ethos (credibility) this analysis provides the basis to argue that goodwill should be treated as a major component of ethos.

A textual analysis of rhetorical acts as well as media reactions sheds light on the role goodwill played in the Bush Administration’s credibility post-September 11 as perceived by the international audience. The findings of this thesis indicate that the failure to establish effective goodwill messages has negatively impacted the Bush Administration’s credibility as perceived by the audience, supporting the importance of goodwill on ethos.

Included in

Rhetoric Commons

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