Eulogy comes from the ancient Greek: eu for ‘well’ or ‘true’, logia for ‘words’ or ‘text’. The general meaning is speech that praises a person or, sometimes, a thing.
The focus of the speaker is on the good character and works of a person who has died. A eulogy therefore pays tribute to the dead.
The exemplar is the funeral oration of Pericles who, while speaking to honour those Athenians who had died in the war with Sparta, analysed and praised the character of the city and people whom he led.
On 17 August 2020, President Donald Trump spoke about the death of his brother, Robert on Fox News:
Well, we did interact, and he was always there and he was, you know, he wasn’t a jealous person, he was a very smart guy. But he wasn’t, you know, he would be there and he’d be behind me, and if I had the number one show, if I had a big success, and no matter what I did, whether it was real estate deals or anything else, he was right there, in many cases helped me very much with whatever I did and then when I became president, he was I think one of the most loyal people.
He—there was no jealousy, you know, a lot of times in families, I hate to say it, but there’s jealousy, and especially among children and among children that are competitive children, because he was very competitive, there was not an ounce of jealousy, he’d go around talking about how great this is for the country and it’s so incredible and he was my biggest fan. People would tell me all the time, ‘I spoke to your brother and your brother was so thrilled and so thrilled at what was happening.’
And what was happening for the country. He was so angry with China, because of what happened where the plague came in and they shouldn’t have allowed it to happen, they could have stopped it, he was so upset by that it was he couldn’t, more than people would be upset, a lot of people have already forgotten, and you can’t forget, but he was a fantastic guy.