Historical perspective

Three months after the delivery of the “I Have Sinned” speech, Bill Clinton was impeached by the United States House of Representatives. He was charged with lying under oath, abuse of power, and obstruction of justice. In 1999, the impeachment trial began in the Senate, but Clinton was acquitted b…


Textual perspectives

To better understand the context of Clinton’s “I Have Sinned” speech, it would be useful to look at his “I Misled People” speech, delivered in August 1998. In the “I Misled People” speech, Clinton publicly admits for the first time that he had an affair with White House intern Monica Lewinsky. The speech was heavily criticized for being too short and for Clinton not displaying repentance for his actions. “I Misled People” focuses more on Clinton’s connection with his family and only briefly mentions God. A comparison between the two speeches shows a difference in tone and attitude. While “I Misled People” has a blunt and practical tone to it, “I Have Sinned” is more emotional and apologetic. 

Another apology speech delivered by a politician is Kevin Rudd’s speech. In it, Rudd does …

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