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Johnnae Roberts
Dr. Michael Harker
English 3050
July 24, 2013
Beyonce: The Queen of Rhetoric
Music has been around since the beginning of time in many different shapes and forms.
Beyonce Knowles has helped shape the music industry tremendously; however, there are some
critics such as, Leonid Krasnozhon, who say entertainers are in the business for the financial
status and power status it gives them. However, Beyonce Knowles is different and is in a
category on her own. As an entertainer, she sets the bar each time she steps on stage to perform
one of the many hits that earned her a Grammy or MTV award and reinforces why she is one of
the best performers of all time. She does it to emphasize the importance of her fans and show
them that they are special individuals that should flourish. She also displays reoccurring trends
throughout her career with the group Destinys Child as well as her solo career. As a beautiful
woman she captures the attention of everyone and when she performs she lights up the stage and
has everyone in a trance by using her alter ego, Sasha Fierce. This has been a practice for many
people who came before her such as Diana Ross, Whitney Houston, Madonna, and even Lena
Horne, whose beauty wowed the crowd but their voices gained them fame. These are all
particularly spectacular women but what trends sets them apart to be great?
Knowles video, Me, Myself, and I, can be found on YouTube and was released
from her first solo album after the group, Destinys Child, went their separate ways. In this video,
she relates to her fans who have been through heartbreaks and have gained strength from it. The
song analyzes a relationship that ends because the guy she trusts is unfaithful, and she finds

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confidence in knowing she can depend on herself and learn her worth. It is also about love at a
young age, and the thoughts that it would last forever when there is still so much to learn about
yourself as an entity. She reemphasizes womens empowerment and learning what makes you
special before getting into a new relationship and losing yourself in the other individual. This
song connects with the homosexual community as well because every individual has had an
encounter like this no matter the sex. This is interesting and revealing because as a woman she
immediately relates to the female population but to unite others by her music is very unique and
allows the audience to delve into what type of performer she is. It also means that her
performance was believable enough for others to support and continue to listen to her music (Me,
Myself, and I).
In Leonid Krasnozhons article, he mentions the aspect of money and how it fits into
Beyonces fame. He comes to the conclusion that because Beyonce is an award winning artist
with an astounding career her concert tickets will be extremely expensive. She is also a hot
commodity when it comes to talent, and her performances will be unlike many others in the field.
With that being said, so he predicts her tickets will sell quickly. She may get a profit from the
concerts, but she is ultimately doing it to stay connected to the fans and give them a great
performance they will remember. Her supporters bond with her in an ultimate way: by seeing her
in person and singing her most famous songs and favorite songs such as Irreplaceable, Diva,
or Me Myself, and I.
Krasnozhon also goes into explaining the hook of her songs and how they are so
recognizable, immediately capturing the listeners attention and keeps them engaged. He uses the
song Irreplaceable, a single featured on her second album titled, BDay, to teach the method
of supply and demand in a more relatable manner and to make sure the essential concepts are

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gathered. He helps the students realize that a long term relationship helps the audience reduce
insecurities about Beyonce increasing their willingness to continue to come to concerts and buy
things that she sells. She has become a credible source for entertainment to follow.
Some people believed a woman should rely solely on the man for financial stability as
well as emotional security. As the world has changed and evolved, so has music. For instance,
with the song, Diva, by Beyonce on her album, I Am Sasha Fierce, she empowers women to
get what they need to be successful and uses things connected to men such as, money, clothes,
and essentially anything that will make the woman independent from a man. She even goes as far
to state in her chorus that, A diva is a female version of a hustler. With an economy in
repression and more women having to fend for themselves, knowing how to be secure financially
as well is emotionally is important and she teaches her fans that. In her song, she also states that
in any relationship she has he should also be financially stable as well (Diva).
Her alter ego Sasha Fierce is a driven woman and like her alter ego she encourages
people to make their own future and life for themselves and not to let anyone dictate it. In the
video, she also shows that there is an obvious difference between her and other girls. For
example, when she walks by there is a car with mannequins in the trunk reflecting on societys
want to mold women into a certain figure. She commands both attention and respect which
reinforces the position that women are just as capable as men. This is representative of a binary
because it presents a woman flashing money and status, which is something a man is seen doing.
She does this in representation of her defiance for the way things are and she is making a blatant
statement for the empowerment of women (Diva).
In Songs As a Medium, written by Dawn Hobbs, and Gordon Gallup Jr. there is
speculation on the prominence of words for selling albums. Love is known to sell romance

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novels but this article also delves into singles and finds the evidence that supports the success of
Beyonces singles on love. This article, displays the evolutionary psychology behind music as it
has also evolved. Hobbs and Gallup reviewed 174 songs and report that 92% of them have
elements of the reproductive messages (390). A usual love song by Beyonce speaks of sincere
things during courtship such as holding hands, or overtures with the purpose of commitment and
long term courtship (392). She also makes music in accordance with committed relationships and
fidelity (393). This academic journal is revealing because when specific words were placed
besides others, R&B had the most characteristics on the topic of love. This journal also analyzes
the use of key words and how they translate into genres and the genre percentages. Love is a
trend mentioned in all genres but when mentioned by Beyonce she uses it to connect emotionally
to those facing the same challenges as her.
Love On Top, is a product of one of her most recent album, 4. With this album, she
is at a different stage in both her career and life. She is married and creating music that replicates
the happiness she feels. The song, Love On Top, represents the trend: love. She uses many
analogies which corresponds to the love that she has received and that she feels for her
relationship. The song is very upbeat and this is an indication of the feelings love gives
individuals. This is very informative because no song has ever been this direct and in response to
her life. The video is also interesting because it is over the top and spectacular, which is the
message she wants conveyed. She has officially transitioned into the married life and with the
creation of this album there is also the creation of a baby. All of these things combined make the
trend come to life. On the surface these things dont seem relevant but by analyzing other songs
on love, it is obvious that she has never been this engaged in professing her love (Love On Top).

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In The History and Theory of Rhetoric: An Introduction, written by James A. Herrick a
detailed encounter of many famous rhetoricians we continue to use as a teaching method in
classes such as Aristotle, St. Augustine, or even Blair are discussed. Beyonce has many qualities
that have been discussed by these rhetoricians for many years which may be why her record sales
and concerts are always in tremendous amounts. Krasnozhon describes her in a way, like the
Sophists, because they use their stature to gain money and that is basically her appeal (Herrick
59). Beyonce uses her status to impact the audience and help them through different situations
that life places in their path.
She uses techniques from Aristotle to gain credibility and have emotion. She speaks on
love throughout her career and in her song, Love On Top, it appears life for her has come to
fruition. The three appeals introduced by Aristotle, ethos, logos, and pathos are used effectively
by Beyonce. Rhetoric is an art, and its essential to understand how to use it efficiently. Beyonce
uses logos to show the audiences why they should continue to support her, pathos by connecting
to them through her music, and ethos by delivering at any performance with the proper attitude,
voice and passion (Herrick 87-90). With the music videos, Diva, and Love on Top, she
appears in a leotard which appeals to the males and they are emotionally inclined to watch.
She also incorporates the five canons from Cicero, like arrangement, or the proper order
of arguments (103). While filming videos she has to consider what will sell and how she should
promote her albums and videos. The fifth canon, delivery, is also used in all of her videos.
Delivery is the control of voice and body in a manner suitable to the dignity of the subject matter
and style (103). With each video she is in character to achieve the desired effect. She also hits
every dance move with extra emphasis. She delivers the performance which works for her
credibility. For an artist like Beyonce, it is important to know the human mind at all times as well

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as taste. Things have shifted from public to private and with the private eye constantly on
Beyonce; therefore, she has to know the taste of the audience (192). With each song and video
she has to use her imagination because the most conceivable ideas have already been created and
as an artist she has to be original and deliver on any performance (183). As Thomas Sheridan
believed, good delivery is connected with convincing the audience of the truthfulness of the
argument (188). Beyonce convinces the audience each time she steps on stage because she jumps
into the mindset of the character almost immediately and becomes Sasha Fierce. As with the
Enlightenment period, Beyonce knows how the human mind operates so each thing she does is
graceful, forceful, and she strives for clarity (195). Each action is strategic and when performing
she unifies the crowd because they identify with the words that she is saying (226). Rhetorics
goal is to unite us because we separate ourselves from one another by alienation and competition
(226). Beyonce knows that each time she is performing people want to hear her and drown out
the worries they may be having. By doing so she has uncovered the biggest trend of all as a
performer: the human mind and how it works.
Beyonce has been called the queen of R&B and even King Bey from time to time. She
is a source of inspiration for women and men alike and she continues to add excitement to
individuals. Throughout her career she has transformed as a person and which shows in her
music and videos. Beyonce as an artist has learned over time that the most important thing for
performing is human motivation. When people watch her videos they want to draw attention
away from their own lives and focus on the excitement she brings to them just from watching her
perform. As Hugh Blair stated, human beings have the tendency to use symbols, which means to
make them and misuse them (227). As a performer, Beyonce deals with all types of people from
different backgrounds, countries, and they all share one common goal: to see her perform live or

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to listen to her music. She is the common strand that connects these people because they love her
music for the way she explores her mind to create it. She also speaks from real life situations
which many people can relate to. Beyonce is the ultimate symbol for people who want to forget
about everything and hear beautiful music in addition to looking at a beautiful woman. There are
many languages that the world has but music is a worldwide language that allows people from all
over to connect. Beyonces career can be compared to a syllogistic form, or the form of a
perfectly conducted argument, advancing step by step. Her career has advanced immeasurably
and her name has become synonymous with the Queen of pop and R&B. She relates to the
human mind because she progresses in many ways with us. She also has a song for an individual
at any given time. Beyonce is an ideal rhetorical symbol because she uses the different theories
to make her career a lasting one.