Conflicting Perspectives (Mitt Romney's 2012 Acceptance Speech)

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The online transcript of Mitt Romney’s 2012 acceptance speech, with a section open for comments, represents conflicting perspectives through internal contradictions inherent to the political speech form and the medium of production - an internet site with a comments section. The speech also reveals how the manipulation of language can represent a single perspective, countering any conflict. In this case, the singular perspective is that Romney is the candidate. The public and private persona a leader possesses is often in conflict, with the public curious to know both in order to accurately assess the character’s ability to lead. The dramatic form through which Shakespeare represents Caesar allows both the public and private representations of Caesar to be evaluated by the audience. Romney’s speech, attempting to connect with the public through personalisation, is in conflict with his representation as a capable leader. He introduces himself as a paternal figure through sentimentality, “I love the way [Paul Ryan] lights up around his kids”. The diction and use of the plural pronoun “we are a good and generous people… united by more than what divides us” aims to build a personal connection with his audience. He only uses authoritative language towards the end, shifting the focus towards politics through citing statistics - “fallen by $4000… $716 billion cut”. Though the speech attempts to argue a single perspective, there is conflict, as he needs to contend that he is both a family man susceptible to sentiment and a leader that can rise above personal concerns. His overtly personal approach, peppered with political details is an inherent contradiction in the political speech form. The audience response texts are left open to generate conflicting perspectives from various contexts. JC is an allegory for the politics in Shakespeare’s context and the lack of a clearly

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