In this paper, I analyze the commencement speech given by Ellen DeGeneres at Tulane University in 2009. I argue that through identifying with her audience and employing a rhetorical style consisting of a careful balance between humor and tragedy as an additional factor to her use of the commencement genre style presented in Margaret LaWare’s essay, "Redefining The 'Good Life': Life Lessons And Virtues In Commencement Speeches By Women,” DeGeneres is able to establish enough ethos to be seen as a highly credible source on the subject of life, and is able to resonate with her audience and make a point they perceive to be widely reasonable and sound.
Sigl, Ashley V.
"Ellen DeGeneres' Tulane Commencement Speech: Is She Getting Through to Anybody?,"
Vol. 4, Article 6.
Available at: http://digitalcommons.wou.edu/pure/vol4/iss1/6