Ideology, Prosody, and Eponymy: Towards a Public Poetics of Obama and Beowulf

Ideology, Prosody, and Eponymy: Towards a Public Poetics  of Obama and Beowulf

By Tom Clark

Nebula: A Journal of Multidisciplinary Scholarship, Vol.7:1-2 (2010)

Abstract: This article examines and integrates the categories of poetics and rhetoric by comparing concepts of the poetic in Barack Obama’s 2008 election victory speech with concepts of political rhetoric in the Old English long poem Beowulf. Using close readings, the paper explores a nexus between these two modes of communication which is revealed both in the politicisation of poetry and in the poetical praxis of political communications. That is, practitioners in both domains necessarily follow the integrating logics that this paper explores. It finds a political aesthetic of sceptical conservatism that underwrites the agendas of both these epic-heroic texts.

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