Award Date


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)


Communication Studies

First Committee Member

Richard Jensen

Number of Pages



The study provides a critical analysis of the rhetoric used to establish a martyr in history. An indepth definition of martyrdom, along with a criteria for martyrs, is utilized in support of the theories. The text claims that the rhetoric of a situation is the key to becoming a martyr. Utilizing the theory of criteria for martyrdom as the tool, histories, biographies, discourses, and print media provide the input for the analysis; The examination breaks into three case studies: Joan of Arc, John Brown, and Jim Jones The examples of Joan of Arc and John Brown illustrate the positive role rhetoric played in their eventual classification as martyrs. The example of Jim Jones displays the negative effects rhetoric had on his failure to become a martyr. The study offers valuable insight into the questions, who deserves martyrdom and why?


Analyzing; Arc; Brown; Case; Jim; Joan; John; Jones; Martyrdom; Rhetoric; Rhetorical; Situations; Study

Controlled Subject

Rhetoric; Biography; Religious history

File Format


File Size

2273.28 KB

Degree Grantor

University of Nevada, Las Vegas




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