Myth, Metaphor and Leadership

  • Jonathan Charteris-Black


In this work I have tried to demonstrate that analysis of political speeches provides insight into how leadership is communicated and that critical analysis of metaphors provides particular insight into why the rhetoric of political leaders is successful. All the politicians analysed in this work make extensive use of metaphor and it is therefore a very crucial aspect of style in political speaking. However, a main finding is that metaphor is most effective when interlaced with other figures of speech to become part of a wider system of meaning creation. It is especially persuasive when combined with the semantic relation of contrast. This is because contrast creates sets of associations between all things that exist at the extreme ends of scales; these associations then serve to argue for cause–effect type relationships. Metaphor combined with antithesis therefore forms its own psychologically based logic.


Political Communication Source Domain Conceptual Metaphor Political Opponent Political Speech 
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© Jonathan Charteris-Black 2005

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  • Jonathan Charteris-Black

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