COMS201 Fall 2011

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Lecture 4

Filed under: Uncategorized October 17, 2011 @ 08:21

What is the best piece of “classical rhetoric” that you have witnessed?

What made it so effective for you?

Can you find a link to a video or sound recording (or a transcript) of the actual rhetoric?

32 Comments »

  1. Alan Dockrill:

    I have always been very impressed by the civil rights rhetoric “I have a dream” speech put forth by Martin Luther King in 1963 during the March on Washington.

    What made it effective was the strong, forceful, engaging tone and cadence of King’s voice during the speech. He also used the convention of Pathos (emotional appeal) to great effect by repetitively stating the impact a utopian future of equality would have on our children and the collective us, while tugging at American patriotism throughout.

    Video for the speech can be found at:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=smEqnnklfYs

  2. Brooklyn:

    1. What is the best piece of “classical rhetoric” that you have witnessed?

    A piece of rhetoric (unsure if it is considered classical) is the speech “Our Deepest Fear” from the movie Coach Carter.

    2. What made it so effective for you?

    The speech is performed by the “troubled” young man in the movie. He performs it with convincing emotion that truly engages me. The young man uses emotional appeal, and is persuasive with his message. The rhetoric in his speech is highly believable, and that is what made it so effective for me.

    Can you find a link to a video or sound recording (or a transcript) of the actual rhetoric?

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ybt8wXIahQU

  3. Duy:

    The most recent and first example of rhetoric that came to mind was President Obama’s speech addressing the world of Osama Bin Laden’s death. I remember hearing it on the radio on my way home and being completely swept up and enthralled in his verbal deliverance. When I got home I watched the speech on TV and found that his non-verbal communication, such as facial expressions, matched his tone. It was clear that this speech would be critically analyzed worldwide and Obama needed to deliver the speech in just the right way, as to not offend anyone for appearing too celebratory. I felt that Obama’s delivery was excellent.

    Major props to his team of speechwriters as well, as they needed to cover a lot of checkpoints, from describing the facts of the event and giving credit where it was due, while cautiously choosing the right words as to not cause any offense. Reading the speech again, there are definitely a couple of examples of tricolon, which I now know, contributed to the effectiveness of the rhetoric.

    The speech ended fairly powerfully as well, creating a feeling of unity, and even though it was directed to the American people, hearing the end of the speech for the first time, I even felt in a sense a part of the “we”.

    Transcript:

    Video:

  4. Dan:

    This may not be the best, or my favourite, but for some reason it is the one thing that comes to mind. Could he ever get a crowd going. Whether you agree with him or not, you can’t deny the conviction in his voice. He was infamous for being a very persuasive rhetorical speaker. He was so influential it opened up university studies on morality and following orders, like the Milgram experiment and the Stanford prison experiment (links found below).

    *cited as a historical reference for the purpose of sharing a rhetorical speech for class only, I do not necessarily agree or relate with the controversial views impied here or assume any responsibility for anyone’s potential butthurt

    http://youtu.be/eGhdX1SI3KY

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Milgram_experiment
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stanford_prison_experiment

  5. Dan:

    **correction:

    He was so influential the wake he left was included in heavy consideration with the university studies on morality and following orders, like the Milgram experiment and the Stanford prison experiment

  6. Mark P:

    In light of recent events I have chosen Apple founder and former CEO Steve’s Jobs’ 2005 Stanford commencement speech as my all time favorite piece of classical rhetoric because it perfect. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UF8uR6Z6KLc

    What makes it perfect it hard to explain but I’ll give it a shot. Steve Jobs was worth billions, yet here he was, in front of a crowd of undergrads talking about how his mother put him up for adoption soon after his birth, and how he dropped out of college after only a few weeks on campus. All this was said with the utmost humility and class.

    Jobs goes on to talk about how he spent years developing Apple in his parent’s garage only to be fired from the company he built from the ground up. He was brought back however, after creating Next and Pixar. Jobs even goes as far as to say that being fired by Apple was the greatest thing that ever happened to him for him showed him how much he loved his job.

    But the greatest part of Job’s speech pertains to a cancer scare he had a few years before his death, and ended with this message: “don’t waste your life by living someone else’s.” Brilliant words from a brilliant man.

  7. Jennifer K. Blezard:

    What is the best piece of “classical rhetoric” that you have witnessed?

    I’m going to have to go with the famous “Yes, we can” speech/campaign conducted by (now) President Barack Obama.

    I remember as the campaign progressed in 2008, that I was impressed with the media campaign Obama conducted. It was well thought out and executed. Here is a man who understands the media savvy of today’s society. He utilized social media, online media and other traditional means to communicate his message.

    Regardless of what anyone may think of President Obama’s time in office and what he has/hasn’t achieved, I will always respect the campaign he conducted as he strove for political office.

    What made it so effective for you?

    He quoted from the American Constitution and the phrase “Yes, we can” was something that was re occurring and began him slogan.

    Because Obama drew on both the past (the constitution and declaration of independence) and the present (incorporating modern ideas, the faces of the well-known and the every man) he was able to inspire a sense of patriotism and a “can do” attitude for change. In his rhetoric, he repeated the theme of unity and togetherness on behalf of the American Nation.

    What made this different for me was the fact that Obama was not standing on a podium as a politician, he was trying to unite Americans under the idea of positive change beginning with every individual and everyone as a whole.

    Can you find a link to a video or sound recording (or a transcript) of the actual rhetoric?

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SsV2O4fCgjk

  8. Jing Jing Yang:

    What is the best piece of “classical rhetoric” that you have witnessed?

    The best piece of “classical rhetoric” for me definitely is “I Have a Dream”, a public speech by Martin Luther King. The speech which was called for racial equality and an end to discrimination.

    What made it so effective for you?

    I still remember most content clearly because it was on our middle school English textbook. We were required to memorize all the speech and recited in front of class at the end. His argument is forceful and memorable. Every word sounds powerful, reasonable and emotion-filled. Recalled years ago when I saw his video at last part in my English class. “Free at last! Free at last! Thank God Almighty, we are free at last!” It brought my tears to eyes and chilled to spines. He repeated again and again to emphasize his argument and urge his audience to seize the moment. Include the most famous phrase “I have a dream…” as well which is repeated eight times for painted a full picture about a unified America to his audience.

    Can you find a link to a video or sound recording (or a transcript) of the actual rhetoric?

    http://www.dailymotion.com/video/x4wejh_martin-luther-king-i-have-a-dream_news#rel-page-2
    That’s the link of Martin Luther King “I have a dream”.

  9. orkhan.suleymanov:

    There are a lot of rhetoric speeches which makes me willing person and also pushes me thinking something aout life. But the effective one is Steve Jobs’ 2005 Stanford Commencement. I like computer science from my early ages.That is why, i always read and watch important people’s sppeches and interviews. I watched this rhetoric on 2006.Late but it makes me a fighter against the hadest part of world. I learnt that you should always say “never give up” and you “can change the world”, even you can be poor but if you have goals and you know how to think you can do everything….This is the rhetoric: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UF8uR6Z6KLchttp://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UF8uR6Z6KLc

  10. therese:

    What is the best piece of “classical rhetoric” that you have witnessed?
    There are many. I was going to use the “I had a dream speech as that was pretty powerfull. However the most reason one that actually made sense to me was the Baz Lurhman song and speech – “Don’t forget the sunscreen”

    What made it so effective for you? It was relevant!! The irony is that it was huge at the time, kind of like the Desiderata song, which probably won’t mean anything to most of you and it wasn’t even the speech it was supposed to be. I have a link underneath but this is the speech. In August 1997, e-mail enthusiasts burned up cyberspace sending each other the text of a commencement address said to have been delivered by Kurt Vonnegut, author of “Slaughterhouse Five” and other works. It was surely the most popular speech Kurt Vonnegut never wrote or delivered. As it happens, the sunscreen speech was actually a column written by Chicago Tribune columnist Mary Schmich. Here is “the speech”.

    Wear Sunscreen
    By Mary Schmich of the Chicago Tribune

    Ladies and gentlemen of the class of ’98: Wear sunscreen.

    If I could offer you only one tip for the future, sunscreen would be it. The long-term benefits of sunscreen have been proved by scientists whereas the rest of my advice has no basis more reliable than my own meandering experience. I will dispense this advice now.

    Enjoy the power and beauty of your youth. Oh, never mind. You will not understand the power and beauty of your youth until they’ve faded. But trust me, in 20 years, you’ll look back at photos of yourself and recall in a way you can’t grasp now how much possibility lay before you and how fabulous you really looked. You are not as fat as you imagine.

    Don’t worry about the future. Or worry, but know that worrying is as effective as trying to solve an algebra equation by chewing bubble gum. The real troubles in your life are apt to be things that never crossed your worried mind, the kind that blind side you at 4 PM on some idle Tuesday.

    Do one thing every day that scares you.

    Sing.

    Don’t be reckless with other people’s hearts. Don’t put up with people who are reckless with yours.

    Floss.

    Don’t waste your time on jealousy. Sometimes you’re ahead, sometimes you’re behind. The race is long and, in the end, it’s only with yourself.

    Remember compliments you receive. Forget the insults. If you succeed in doing this, tell me how.

    Keep your old love letters. Throw away your old bank statements.

    Stretch.

    Don’t feel guilty if you don’t know what you want to do with your life. The most interesting people I know didn’t know at 22 what they wanted to do with their lives. Some of the most interesting 40-year-olds I know still don’t.

    Get plenty of calcium.

    Be kind to your knees. You’ll miss them when they’re gone.

    Maybe you’ll marry, maybe you won’t. Maybe you’ll have children, maybe you won’t. Maybe you’ll divorce at 40, maybe you’ll dance the funky chicken on your 75th wedding anniversary. Whatever you do, don’t congratulate yourself too much, or berate yourself either. Your choices are half chance. So are everybody else’s.

    Enjoy your body. Use it every way you can. Don’t be afraid of it or of what other people think of it. It’s the greatest instrument you’ll ever own.

    Dance, even if you have nowhere to do it but your living room.

    Read the directions, even if you don’t follow them.

    Do not read beauty magazines. They will only make you feel ugly.

    Get to know your parents. You never know when they’ll be gone for good.

    Be nice to your siblings. They’re your best link to your past and the people most likely to stick with you in the future.

    Understand that friends come and go, but with a precious few you should hold on. Work hard to bridge the gaps in geography and lifestyle, because the older you get, the more you need the people who knew you when you were young.

    Live in New York City once, but leave before it makes you hard.

    Live in Northern California once, but leave before it makes you soft.

    Travel.

    Accept certain inalienable truths: Prices will rise. Politicians will philander. You, too, will get old. And when you do, you’ll fantasize that when you were young, prices were reasonable, politicians were noble, and children respected their elders.

    Respect your elders.

    Don’t expect anyone else to support you. Maybe you have a trust fund. Maybe you’ll have a wealthy spouse. But you never know when either one might run out.

    Don’t mess too much with your hair or by the time you’re 40 it will look 85.

    Be careful whose advice you buy, but be patient with those who supply it. Advice is a form of nostalgia. Dispensing it is a way of fishing the past from the disposal, wiping it off, painting over the ugly parts and recycling it for more than it’s worth.

    But trust me on the sunscreen.

    Can you find a link to a video or sound recording (or a transcript) of the actual rhetoric.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sTJ7AzBIJoI

  11. Devin Chollak:

    I would have to say that “I have a dream” by Martin Luther King has been the most significant classical rhetoric I have heard of.

    The reason that this was so effective is because I always get tired of people judging others simply based on their looks. It bothers me that people use race as a way to separate themselves from others and think of others as less than them simply because of skin color. Unfortunately, I don’t see this going away in the near future, but I do believe that the extent of this prejudice can be reduced. Globalization and international bodies are a key to the success of this, but people will have to let go of some of their security and be accepting of others.

    A video of the speech can be found here:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V57lotnKGF8&feature=related

  12. shidashabanirad:

    What is the best piece of “classical rhetoric” that you have witnessed?

    Steve Jobs speech at Stanford university.

    What made it so effective for you?

    It was by far one of the most inspiring and emotional speeches i have ever heard. it made me think, he was adopted as a child and made the first apple software in his garage, his yearly salary to himself was a dollar and lived only off of his bonuses’. He was giving and understanding. Watching his speech makes me realize how driven he was and if everyone had a bit of steve in them, this would be a better world! Despite what he had gone through growing up he stayed focus and was persistent and reached not only all of his goals but he created a way of new living with technology which we will use on an everyday basis. He will be remembered.

    Can you find a link to a video or sound recording (or a transcript) of the actual rhetoric?

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UF8uR6Z6KLc

  13. Fraser Flemons:

    What is the best piece of “classical rhetoric” that you have witnessed?

    – One piece of classical rhetoric that stands out for me is the speech by George W. Bush on the WMD.

    What made it so effective for you?

    This is not the “best” or even a good piece of classical rhetoric, however it does show the other side of it. All of the previous examples have been inspirational speeches, however this example shows how rhetoric can be used to hide the truth. I don’t know if I agree with Plato that rhetoric makes us stray further from the truth, but this is an undeniable example of how it CAN.

    Can you find a link to a video or sound recording (or a transcript) of the actual rhetoric?

    I couldn’t find the actual speech, looks like it has been removed mainly from youtube, but here is an edited version

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gMStCHtUNeY&feature=results_video&playnext=1&list=PL611D7CB86868ABD7

  14. Dan:

    I changed my mind on what piece of rhetoric I would like to share over other pieces that are out there, after being recently exposed to more..

    written:
    http://www.hammerwood.mistral.co.uk/chaplin.htm

    Also, here is a beta version of an audio excerpt a friend of mine/fellow sound tech who used a sample of this rhetoric in a piece of his work:
    http://soundcloud.com/cf201/dictator-test

  15. Dan:

    I changed my mind on what piece of rhetoric I would like to share over other pieces that are out there, after being recently exposed to more..

    written:
    http://www.hammerwood.mistral.co.uk/chaplin.htm

    Also, here is a beta version of an audio excerpt a friend of mine/fellow sound tech who used a sample of this rhetoric in a piece of his work:
    http://soundcloud.com/cf201/dictator-test

    What made it so effective for me: The timing. And how much he sounded like he really believed in everything he was saying.

  16. James McDonall:

    Surely Sir Winston Churchill’s “we shall fight them” speech stands out as one of th best rhetorical performance at all time.

    How hard does any leader have to work, how clear and concise must he be, to convince a nation – especially an island nation with allies already falling around them – to engage in bloody murder and defense against a mad man, tyrant, and despot? This speech laid out the history, laid out the facts, laid out the national belief system – the whys and the wherefores the people needed to make sense of a huge moment in their history.

    Sadly, this link “abridged” due to YouTube limitations. Still looking for the full version.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6llT2ZYg-4E&feature=youtube_gdata_player

  17. James McDonall:

    Many thanks to iPhone for correcting my good English and rewriting the above.

  18. Rachel C.:

    What is the best piece of “classical rhetoric” that you have witnessed?

    “I have a Dream”
    A speech by Martin Luther King

    What made it so effective for you?

    The first reason his speech was so effective for me is that I also have a different skin color.

    The tone and loudness of his voice is very powerful. and how he uses repetition makes the speech very effective, too.

    Can you find a link to a video or sound recording (or a transcript) of the actual rhetoric?

    here is his speech on youtube:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Fus4nBIjV2I&NR=1

  19. Courtney F.:

    What is the best piece of “classical rhetoric” that you have witnessed?
    I probably would have chosen the Martin Luther King Jr. speech as well but to be different, I’ll pick the speech that JK Rowling made at a university commencement.

    What made it so effective for you?
    It’s very well-spoken and convincing but it also captured my attention because it takes a familiar concept (that failure is a bad thing) and presents a new way of looking at it. Failure is something everybody fears and I think that a lot of people can benefit from the advice she gives. Her mannerisms and body language aren’t particularly strong but she still commands attention just by the things that she’s saying.

    Can you find a link to a video or sound recording (or a transcript) of the actual rhetoric?
    http://vimeo.com/1711302

  20. Sonia McRae:

    What is the best piece of “classical rhetoric” that you have witnessed?
    The best piece of classical rhetoric that I have witnessed is one of the many speeches sociologist Michael Kimmel made on gender, race etc.
    What made it so effective for you?
    The key line “privilege is invisible to those who have it” is to me by far the most bang on definition to describe society. He speaks about the way people view themselves in the mirror that he sees a person when he looks in a mirror, where as a woman sees a woman in the mirror, a black woman sees a woman etc. It is a complete example of what we spoke about in class when we discussed identity salience and hierarchies. The world is completely structured on hierarchies and even the way we describe ourselves when we look in the mirror is an example of this.
    Can you find a link to a video or sound recording (or a transcript) of the actual rhetoric?

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JgaOK74HqiA

  21. rolandkwan:

    The best piece of classical rhetoric I’ve witnessed is honestly the Martin Luther King Jr speech. As much as I’d like to be different from everyone else, I don’t look up too much classical rhetoric. It had a big impact on me because it was very well spoken, it was very powerful, and very convincing. I’m also sure that the link was also provided up top.

  22. Brittney:

    I know this is a little off the beaten path, but Charlie Chaplin’s speech at the end of The Great Dictator always seems to get me going. It really is beautifully written, beautifully spoken and from a man whose climb to fame was based on silence.
    I feel hopeful for a better world every time I hear it.

    http://youtu.be/QcvjoWOwnn4
    (the video)

    http://luis.impa.br/chaplin.html
    (the transcript)

  23. Michael Lee:

    For me, it has to be the second part of the declaration of war speech by President Roosevelt (Infamy Speech):

    http://www.historyplace.com/speeches/fdr-infamy.htm

    Although it is short, it draws a huge contrast between the United States and the Japanese army. Roosevelt focused on the act of war declaration to be of righteousness and it is absolutely the only right thing to do at that time.

  24. Alva:

    What is the best piece of “classical rhetoric” that you have witnessed?

    Casey Anthony defense closing argument. This isn’t necessarily the best rhetoric I have ever seen, but it is very powerful as it did win the case.

    What made it so effective for you?

    It is effective because it begins by thanking and acknowledging the jury “as individuals and as a whole”. The lawyer tried to empathize with them. He talked about what was missing and what they were “looking for”. He speaks very calmly, in a soothing a well-paced manner similar to the OJ lawyer he watched in class. He talks about Law and “right” appealing to the morality of the jury. He keeps talking about what is not disputed: he speaks in absolutes, leaving no room for grey areas. He remains personable. He mentions the burden of the state to unveil proof, an interesting position that obviously worked in his favour. Truly impressive.

    Can you find a link to a video or sound recording (or a transcript) of the actual rhetoric?
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=muVATnlDh_8

  25. Mikayla:

    Given that my dad is very intrigued and interested in American politics I have seen my fair share of rhetorical speeches, however, the one that stands out to me the most (although I’m not sure it would be considered classical) is President Obama’s “Yes We Can” speech. In my opinion when Obama speaks it is as though he is speaking to you personally. He is incredibly convicted, confident, and charismatic.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Fe751kMBwms

  26. Raeesa Merali:

    What is the best piece of “classical rhetoric” that you have witnessed?

    It’s not the best piece of “classical rhetoric” I’ve witnessed but it’s on the list of being one of the best. The piece is of when Lady Gaga speaks at the National Equality March Rally.

    What made it so effective for you?

    You don’t often see an entertainer get up and stand up for their rights in front of a group of people and media outlets. Usually you see the artists come out during presidential ad campaigns like the ones Obama had with quite a few A-list stars. I appreciate Lady Gaga for her dedication on the topic of equality because she’s making use of the amount of influence she holds over her “little monsters.” No one tells her to say this or do this she does what she believes in, I feel she’s one individual who rarely excepts the influence of others. The thing is she just doesn’t make a point she crosses that point so the message is heard loud and clear.

    Can you find a link to a video or sound recording (or a transcript) of the actual rhetoric?

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mRNsl_0AZOs&feature=related

  27. moses ndirangu:

    “I have a dream” speech by Martin Luther King Jr.
    My reading of Martin Luther King’s
    “I Have a Dream” argues that the speech taps powerful rhetorical hierarchies to motivate change, but ironically these motives trap King in languages and social structures which reinforce the hierarchy he seeks to supplant. we can examine the use of rhetorical hierarchy which structures the King speech from simple contrast to more complex developmental metaphors, and finally into the fully implicated socio-rhetorical motives. The rhetorical appeals at each level present opportunities and dangers, but the most complex and powerful rhetorical forms — the hierarchical motivational structures — ironically trade most heavily in the social hierarchies King must change.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B3P6N9g-dQg

  28. Nadia:

    What is the best piece of “classical rhetoric” that you have witnessed?
    A more recent rhetoric speech that stays with me is President Obama’s victory speech. It has alot of the t
    It had the typical thank yous in it but what really made it stand out was the dilivery and one line in particular that was great in rallying all Americans together and that was,”This is your victory.” After everything the American people have been through,they have finally made the right choice by electing the best man for the job.
    Here is the link:
    http://edition.cnn.com/2008/POLITICS/11/04/obama.transcript/#cnnSTCVideo

  29. Jill Truscott:

    The best piece of classical rhetoric that initially comes to mind is Martin Luther King Jr.’s speech, “I Have a Dream” for racial equality and social justice. It is a speech that is known worldwide for its powerful, persuasive, and emotional message – and will remain in people’s memory for lifetimes to come. This speech uses pathos to appeal to the emotion’s of the audience, and understanding these emotions. It is also very effective in its use of different rhetorical techniques, such as repetition (ex. “I have a dream”, “Let freedom ring”) and antithesis. In his delivery, he also uses a loud volume and stability in his voice to convey his message to the audience, and emotion in his body gestures. I will always remember this speech, which will forever have a place in my mind and heart. I find this to be a very emotional and powerful piece of work, which has and continues to shape American society today.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=smEqnnklfYs

  30. Moira Duley:

    A very popular one reading through these other posts is the Martin Luther King Jr. speech. I do find that speech very moving, but just to direct attention to a different powerful rhetoric during that time period I have chosen something different. Malcolm X’s “The ballot or the bullet”. I think this speech resounds so wholly with the minority population in America during that time period. His ability to address ultimately different people as a whole by addressing their differences I think created a feeling of community. Furthermore, he begins his speech in a calm and personable way. Although his speech is more radical than that of Martin Luther King Jr., I think that it stirs the emotions neccessary for action during that time period. As well, he does not attempt to be politcally correct, and even addresses the fact that he is not a politician; which I think creates a comradery with individuals that would be listening to that speech.

    Here is the first part of his speech:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rt4f0WDBtu4

  31. yamna:

    What is the best piece of “classical rhetoric” that you have witnessed-i would have to say Martain ]uthers speech, the reason for its effectiveness was due to the fact it captured not only the attention of the audience it when further into there heart making them feel empathy and love.

  32. Stephen Moore:

    What is the best piece of “classical rhetoric” that you have witnessed?
    Although fictional, i probably would say the speech by atticus finch in defense of tom robinson in to kill a mocking bird
    What made it so effective for you?
    He really defines what true justice is, and how the perceived justice at the time in history perverses reality. He describes how justice should surpass individual values and beliefs, and the current social order (status).
    Can you find a link to a video or sound recording (or a transcript) of the actual rhetoric?
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k8TgqenWW0I

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