Ika Herdina Kurnianingsih, , Indonesia


This research is a discursive stylistic study focusing on the use of rhetorical devices in the U.S. Second Presidential Debate in 2016 by Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton. The objectives of the research are (1) to ascertain rhetorical devices, (2) to scrutinize the discursive strategies, and (3) to divulge the audience’s response of rhetorical devices. Stylistics and discourse analysis serve as the approaches of the research. Descriptive qualitative method was employed to analyze the data. The data were analyzed based on Corbett’s (1965) and Cockcroft and Cockcroft’s (1992) theories of rhetorical devices and Aristotle’s three modes of persuasion in Griffin (2001). The results of this research are as follows. (1) All types of rhetorical devices were found in both candidates’ speech. Hyperbole is found as the most frequent type which appears 31 times in Trump’s speech, whereas Clinton uses hyperbolical expression for 24 times. It is used by the candidates to exaggerate certain topics to stir the audience’s emotion and persuade them. Besides, the less frequent type used in Trump’s speech is allusion. Meanwhile, Clinton never uses simile. (2) All the discursive strategies are found. Trump employs pathos for 58 times, Clinton for 41 times. While, logos is exercised by Trump and Clinton for 23 times and 26 times. The last is ethos which is applied by Trump and Clinton for 4 times and 6 times. Thus, pathos is the most dominant strategy in both candidates’ speech. (3) Eventually, rhetorical devices are interrelated with the discursive strategies since the employment of discursive strategies in delivering rhetorical devices are needed in order to obtain the positive or negative response from the audience. If rhetorical devices are exercised with negative strategies, the response is also negative. If both candidates employs positive strategies in delivering rhetorical devices, the response is positive.


Keywords: rhetorical devices, discursive strategy, second presidential debate, Donald Trump, Hillary Clinton


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