Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)

Semester of Degree Completion


Thesis Director

Douglas Bock


This criticism uses an organic approach to examine the rhetorical properties of Frost's and Angelou's inaugural poems and their individual enactments respective of the constraints and exigencies in the Presidential inaugurations of Kennedy and Clinton. Apparently responding to the constraints of television's sound bite as well as to exigencies of the traditional inauguration and the need to serve a new generation and a culturally diverse population, the Clinton Administration combined the poetic form, used to heighten an emotional response, with an enactment as a synecdochic symbol, used to assert sociopolitical ideology.