Critique On Famous Speaches Essay, Research Paper
When given the assignment to select and critique a speech given by another, immediately I thought to choose someone who was obviously successful with his speech and memorable. For to be both well fitting for the assignment and interesting to me. The speeches that I chose were both containing of passionate sentiments, yet two different messages. I’ll begin with a speech given by Adolph Hitler in 1934.
Upon first impression when Hitler first takes the podium, he appears a nervous yet calm man, who has a very straight and tensely erect posture. As he begins the speech his voice is low yet contains the rigid and coarse quality that will be later amplified in the body of the speech. What is obvious from the beginning is that Hitler used many hand gestures to emphasize his sentiments and to bring out the aggressive tone in his voice. Quickly Hitler changes from a low soft voice to a almost yelling, as he points and waves his fists. Putting his hands to his heart when talking of his nation and its accomplishments to quickly being thrust from behind his back to above his shoulders in a wave motion halting immediately as his voice booms. Also when Hitler would get excited he would get upon the tips of his toes quickly rising then returning down almost like a little jump, indicative of the energy of his words. With all these actions going on with his body language, from his posture being stiff and straight, his uniform, the hand gestures and the growling voice, one can not help but pay attention. At moments when he is given cheers by the crowd, Hitler can be seen flashing somewhat of a smile while his eyes quickly and sternly glance at his notes, preparing for his next point. His voice would gain momentum and aggressiveness until the conclusion where again with his gestures he would express his emotion and finally when he has got the crowds cheering he would leave them with a proclamation of his country’s greatness giving more fuel to the already charged crowd.
Then upon that note he would quickly gather his notes and turn his back walking away from the podium as the cheers continued. Hitler showed preparation in his speeches and that he was always thinking of his next word and gesture. It was as if he was in a trance only to come out of it when the crowds cheered only to look into the crowds and see the manifestation of his words.
Next, I chose another man who like Hitler had a flare and passion in his speeches. Yet unlike the rough, rigid ravings of Hitler, had a melodic tune to his words. He was Martin Luther King. It was late August 1963 in Washington D.C., and as King begins, he is surrounded by other men, which gives off a feeling of closeness with the speaker. King will often repeat single phrases at the beginning and throughout of each topic and theme of his speech. Thus giving the speech a poetic feel. Also giving emphasis to his feelings and points. He talks calmly sometimes to the end of his breath as his voice rises to the conclusion of his statements. King mentions specific places and incidents in order to gain a base with the crowd. His delivery is elemental of a southern preacher giving a sermon.
He uses sayings and analogies that both paint pictures in your mind and give hard meaning. King is very thorough covering many points and always ending each with some statement that gets a response from the crowd, sort of like a confirmation to him that he is being heard and the point being brought across. At some points he rhymes again giving the speech a poetic feel and momentum towards his statements. He is dressed in a suit, simple as is his face openly shows emotion(introspection) at points in his speech he will stare and speak into the sky, or looking deep into the crowd. As momentum is gained even as the crowd cheers King does not stop talking rather continues, creating a rush from the crowd to quiet down and listen. It is here that King sees that he has most attention, As he commences his conclusion he brings together all elements of his speech. He begins with “I have a dream” continuing by talking of his views and goals, giving some personal effect, again he repeats his phrase, and now he talks of places and events that he was emphasizing in the speech, again he repeats the phrase, and then some more
analogies. Then finally he closes with a statement calling for unity and change, pushing the crowd to take action from this speech. Again repeating his phrase now only to close with another phrase, one from an old Negro spiritual “Free at last, free at last, thank God almighty, we are free at last.” And as the crowd roars he walks away into the crowd of people behind him. King mixed emotion with intelligence. His delivery was excellent, but ultimately the reason for his success in his speeches was his honesty, which shined through and gave credibility to his words.