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Political Language

5. Style and Character

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About this Lecture


In this module, we think about style and character in political discourse, focusing in particular on: (i) the graffiti artist Frankie Stocks and the slogan 'The North is not a petri dish'; (ii) the contrasting styles of Tony Blair and Gordon Brown; (iii) the style of Boris Johnson and Jacob Rees-Mogg; (iv) the style of the climate activist Greta Thunberg; (v) the Aristotelian concepts of pathos, logos and ethos; and (vi) the importance of (perceived) authenticity in political communications.


In this course, Professor Jonathan Charteris-Black (UWE Bristol) explores political language. In the first module, we explore the various definitions of political language, before turning in the second module to think about the different levels at which political language can be analysed, from parts of words (e.g. the suffix –gate) to whole narratives. In the third module, we think about the metaphor of war in political discourse, while in the fourth module we think about the kind of language that emerged and was used during the Covid-19 pandemic. Finally, in the fifth module, we think about the concepts of style and character in relation to various political figures, including Tony Blair, Gordon Brown, Boris Johnson, Jacob Rees-Mogg, Greta Thunberg and Dominic Cummings.


Prof. Jonathan Charteris-Black is Professor in Linguistics at UWE Bristol. His recent publications include Metaphors of Brexit: No cherries on the cake? (2019) and Analysing Political Speeches: Rhetoric, Discourse and Metaphor (2018).

Cite this Lecture

APA style

Charteris-Black, J. (2022, April 11). Political Language - Style and Character [Video]. MASSOLIT.

MLA style

Charteris-Black, J. "Political Language – Style and Character." MASSOLIT, uploaded by MASSOLIT, 11 Apr 2022,