Tag Archives: Bartlet

I say I say I say

Getting well into my second rewatch of The West Wing, and came across a presidential soliloquy that echoes something I came across recently: Alexander Pope stressing the importance of words’ sounds, and the importance of having them tally with – more, reinforce – their meaning:

BARTLET: Words, when spoken out loud for the sake of performance, are music. They have rhythm, and pitch, and timbre, and volume. These are the properties of music, and music has the ability to find us and move us, and lift us up in ways that literal meanings can’t. Do you see?
ABBEY: You are an oratorical snob.
BARTLET: Yes, I am. And God loves me for it.

As do we all, Mr President, as do we all.