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

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Clark, Tom (2010) Ideology, Prosody, and Eponymy: Towards a Public Poetics of Obama and Beowulf. Nebula, 7 (1-2). pp. 71-97. ISSN 1838-1472


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.

Item type Article
Official URL
Subjects Historical > Faculty/School/Research Centre/Department > School of Communication and the Arts
Historical > FOR Classification > 2004 Linguistics
Historical > FOR Classification > 2005 Literary Studies
Historical > SEO Classification > 9599 Other Cultural Understanding
Keywords ResPubID20748. public poetics, Barack Obama, Beowulf, political rhetoric, poetic formula, politics, epic
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