On the summer of 1924, Clarence Darrow took a case that changed Nathan Leopold and Richard Loeb from the gallows. The case just did not save the lives of Leopold of Loeb; it was also one of the trials of the century. For lawyer Darrow, this trial was just not an ordinary trial it was a vital declaration against death penalty which was in the end taken into account. Clarence Darrow’s closing argument took 12 hours long, but it was worth it because the combination of the literary devices he used saved his clients from an execution.
Everything started with the passionate idea of irreproachable crime of two college students Nathan Leopold and Richard Loeb. They had a pretty comfortable life, ...view middle of the document...
Christian against Christian, barbarian uniting with Christians to kill Christians; anything to kill”(Darrow, Clarence. "Mercy for Leopold and Loeb" n.p, Chicago, May 1924). In these words Darrow uses cause and effect clearly: “…After the Civil War in 1865, crimes of this sort increased, marvelously. No one needs to tell me that crime has no cause. It has as definite a cause as any other disease, and I know that out of the hatred and bitterness of the Civil War crime increased as America had never seen before. I know that Europe is going through the same experience today…”(Darrow, Clarence. "Mercy for Leopold and Loeb" n.p, Chicago, May 1924). He states that after the Civil War, crimes increased massively in the US, and Europe is taking the same path which pushed the college students to commit the crime they have planned. Darrow combines the facts and cause and effect to use reasoning and logic for remark the background causes of the murder.
Another rhetorical appeal that Clarence Darrow uses in his speech is ethos. Darrow uses first person plural pronouns such as “we”. An example is where he says: “…We read of killing one hundred thousand men in a day. We read about it and we rejoiced in it -- if it was the other fellows who were killed. We were fed on flesh and drank blood…”(Darrow, Clarence. "Mercy for Leopold and Loeb" n.p, Chicago, May 1924). Darrow uses “we”
sufficiently to mention that the crimes and mistakes of the society contributed in Leopold and Loeb’s terrible crime. Darrow also tries to generate a sympathetic tone among the audience to make the audience feel mercy for Leopold and Loeb. When Darrow highlights the fact that the society is fed on flesh blood, he uses hyperbole which helps him to illustrate how violent and vicious the society is.
The most dominant rhetorical strategy included in Clarence Darrow’s speech is pathos. The headline of the speech which is “Mercy for Leopold and Loeb” gives the first clue that pathos is going to be used frequently in the speech because he is supplicating mercy for Leopold and Loeb; he strives to constitute compassion, sensibility and an understanding tone towards them. The way how Darrow used repetition and personal anecdotes makes his narration more consolidated. Darrow points out that the war resulted in an environment that is against humanity and the environment had an impact on Leopold and Loeb with these words: “How long, your Honor, will it take for the world to get back the humane emotions that were slowly growing before the war? How long will it take the calloused hearts of men before the scars of hatred and cruelty shall be removed?” (Darrow, Clarence. "Mercy for Leopold and Loeb" n.p, Chicago, May 1924). Another clear example of repetition can be seen from this quote from...