The Political Rhetoric in the Pre and Post-Election (2013) Speeches of Imran Khan

  • Dr. Sara Khan Lecturer, Department of Humanities COMSATS University Islamabad, Lahore Campus
  • Sumaira Saleem Lecturer, Department of Humanities COMSATS University Islamabad, Lahore Campus
  • Dr. Saima Chattha Assistant Professor, Department of Humanities COMSATS University Islamabad, Lahore Campus
Keywords: Political discourse, Rhetorical analysis, Aristotelian Classical rhetoric, Canons, Invention


The study is a political rhetorical analysis of the pre and post-election 2013 speeches of Imran   Khan. The study explores the use of five canons of Aristotelian rhetoric i.e. Invention, Arrangement, Style, Delivery and Memory by the Pakistan politician. Also, the study presents a comparative analysis of the pre and post-election speeches. A total of 16 speeches of Imran Khan, 8 speeches from pre and post-election eras each were examined to collect data. The data was divided into both numerical and narrative data sets according to themes developed based on the Aristotelian Classical Theory of Rhetoric. The frequency count for the recurrent data was also evaluated to provide in-depth knowledge of the most recurring rhetorical device. In addition to frequency tables, the study was also illustrated with graphs to envision the reader with the graphical representation of the comparative analysis of the pre and post-election data. The analysis of the data exposes that Imran Khan effectively employed the canons of Classical Rhetoric. Imran Khan used Invention to construct arguments with assistance from the three modes of persuasion i.e. logos, ethos and pathos. From the analysis, it was exposed that Imran Khan used logos (logic) mostly to discover and present arguments both in Pre and Post-election speeches. The arrangement was used to organize the speech in a meaningful manner to intact the interests of the audience. The style was employed to intensify the integrity of the arguments presented. Moreover, the analysis revealed that among the stylistic devices, tropes were used most frequently by the speaker. The canon of delivery was employed to create speeches to be more effective for the listeners. The analysis of the speeches revealed that Imran Khan used falling and rising intonation to make his arguments sound like phenomena for his listeners. Lastly, the canon of memory showed that Imran Khan employed mnemonic devices to bring support to his arguments. The study's findings revealed that Imran Khan successfully employed Aristotelian Rhetoric to present his propositions attractively among his audiences. Keeping in view the limitations, the study nevertheless contributes to the teaching of the art of public speaking and inculcates the political figures of Pakistan to enhance their speech deliverance strategies.