Distinctive Voices

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When deconstructing any text, an understanding of its context can only help comprehending the ideas therein. The speeches by Martin Luther King (MLK), John F Kennedy (JFK) and Mark Antony’s address in Julius Caesar are each characterised by effective use of rhetoric and passionate delivery. Each speech was delivered in a time of crisis from Ancient Rome civil war to the 1960s civil unrest. The distinctive voices of each speech becomes apparent when examining the words on the page as well as the method of delivery.

MLK’s I have a Dream speech is characterised by having a sermon like manner.This is not evident by simply examining the words on the page but by rather listening to its actual delivery. Fortunately we live in an electronic age where texts such as JFK’s inaugural address are readily available on YOUTUBE or other media websites. In his most unique style of delivery King almost sings the words, repeating the phrases “100 year later...the negro still is not free.” This use of anaphora reinforces the urgency of his plea where each paragraph of the speech makes use of a repetitive phrase.

Each paragraph of JFK’s speech is arranged using unique metaphors and the the use of allusion. JFK speaks passionately on his points of (communism against capitalism) in the time of delivery and argues for freedom. JFK uses these devices to convey his message to the listeners about freedom.For example, when JFK says “those who foolishly sought power by riding on the back of the tiger ended up inside.” This means that those who thought they could run away and be free would end up inside. JFK also uses allusion to portray the outstanding message of freedom by saying “rejoicing in hope; patient in tribulation. With the use of these two techniques we are able to see the unique perspective in which JFK speaks about the life lead by communism.

A related text which makes similar effective use of rhetoric is a speech given by Marlen Brando staring as Mark Antony in an...
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