Rhetorical Analysis Of Speeches In To Kill A Mockingbird, Battle Of Falkirk, And Brave Heart

1490 words - 6 pages

We should study spoken language as it is truly unique and we can see the effect and beauty of spoken language in works of great orators and writers. Spoken language is truly an art, which involves many techniques to perfect and master it. One of the techniques is rhetoric. Rhetoric is the art of effective or persuasive speaking or writing. The ancient Greeks first developed public speaking. Under Roman, influence public speaking developed further. This was heavily under the influence of Cicero and Aristotle. The speeches I have chosen to study are the closing speech of Atticus Fitch in the novel to “Kill a Mockingbird” and the “Battle of Falkirk” by William Wallace in the movie “Brave heart.”
Atticus’s speech occurs in a courtroom in Maycomb in Alabama State at the trial of Tom Robinson, who had been accused of raping a white woman. This was in the 1930s. Alabama was in the Deep South was very racist at the time. Mrs Maudie said “Atticus Fitch won’t win, he cant’t win”. The purpose of Atticus' speech was to raise the issue of Tom Robinson's trial and to prove his innocence. Atticus acknowledges the jury's difficult position in having to overcome the malaise of racial prejudices and segregations in the society. Despite this, Atticus strives to convince the jury to execute an impartial and just ruling.
Atticus’s opening statement was forceful, empathetic and direct. From the outset, Atticus’s tone is full of confidence and is composed. Atticus adds more impact of this opening statement by speaking clearly and slowly allowing the audience to savour every word he spoke. Atticus stated that “The State” had not produced one “iota” of evidence this is definitive and undeniable, as they have to reply on the testimony of two witnesses. Atticus humanises the defendant by calling him by his name “Tom Robinson”, he also does this by making “The State” seem like the guilty party involved. This is done in order to engender pity and sympathy towards Tom Robinson in the courtroom and thus motivate the jury to return an innocent verdict.
Atticus uses a combination of convincing and logical evidence, but is also very passionate as he is not doing this as a “lip” service. He was doing this, as he could not live with himself if he did not do his best to defend Tom Robinson despite the chances of winning the court case. The use of emotive language and well-reasoned arguments makes the case more persuasive and plausible. Atticus is rather astute in showing compassion for Mayella, this shows honesty and integrity in his character therefore the jury is more inclined to believe him over the witnesses. Atticus makes a direct plea to the jury but he does this on a personal level. Atticus pauses to create more impact as it is dramatically effective as it focuses our attention to the truth. Atticus throws the burden of blame on Mayella making her culpable of the crime that happened and not his client. He uses repetition to emphasise his case and evidence. Atticus’s...

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