At ‘war’ with COVID-19: A critical metaphor analysis of Emmanuel Macron’s March 2020 addresses to the French people | Intellect Skip to content
1981
Volume 19, Issue 1
  • ISSN: 1740-8296
  • E-ISSN: 2040-0918

Abstract

This study explores French President Emmanuel Macron’s rhetorical framing of the COVID-19 pandemic during two nationally televised public addresses given on the eve of the unprecedented country-wide shut down in March 2020. The shutdown was actually be the first of three or public lockdowns that were ordered by the Macron during 2020. Critical metaphor analysis (CMA) was used as the methodological framework to deconstruct Macron’s use of the ‘war’ and ‘journey’ metaphors and their role in his attempt to persuade his people to make major personal sacrifices and comply with their government’s request to limit travel, shut down businesses and confine themselves in their homes. Centring this corpus in the rhetorical moment, this study argues that Macron’s public perception as a wealthy elitist, as well as his failure to adequately respond to the and pension strike revolts that preceded the COVID-19 outbreak prevented him from effectively identifying with the French people and earning their full support and confidence. This may have been exacerbated by his use of the ‘war’ metaphor which, in his role as ‘commander and chief’, likely reified the public’s impression that he was more of a monarchist than a populist.

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2023-11-23
2024-02-29
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